Jazz Fest’s famous rose-mint tea inspired Abigail Gullo, creative director of the International House and its bar, Loa, to make a new drink. “After Jazz Fest I was thinking about the rose-mint tea,” she said. “I want to drink it all year round because it’s so refreshing.” Bissap, an African hibiscus tea drink, was another key influence. The final tea is a beautiful dark red color, begging to be mixed into a hurricane variation. The drink’s name comes from Dr. John’s 1959 instrumental, “Storm Warning,” and that title helped her decide on the base spirit. “I thought of how the air tastes when a storm is coming, that hint of sulfur from thunderstorms. Mezcal can bring that flavor.” Unlike some cocktails, the mezcal doesn’t overwhelm the other ingredients. “It was perfect from the first try,” she said, “balanced and refreshing.” Indeed, this is one storm warning New Orleanians will actually look forward to this summer.
1 ½ ounces Mezcal
3/4 ounce passion fruit liqueur (Chinola is a good brand)
½ ounce lime juice
½ ounce Cocktail and Sons Honeysuckle and Peppercorn syrup
2 ounces of Hibiscus Rose Mint Tea (See below)
Garnish: Lime wheel, candied hibiscus flower
Shake all ingredients over ice and pour into a tall glass. Garnish with the lime wheel and a candied flower.
*Rose Mint Tea
4 Tbsp dried hibiscus flowers
2 Tbsp dried rose petals
1 ⁄ 2 to 1 Tbsp dried spearmint
Add all herbs to a quart-sized glass jar and cover completely with cold water. Cap tightly and give it a good shake. Place the jar in a sunny window and let it infuse for 3 to 6 hours. Strain out the herbs and enjoy over ice or chilled. Alternatively, this tea can be made hot as well.
- Hibiscus has been known to reduce blood pressure, is a powerful antioxidant, and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
- Dried hibiscus flowers are available locally in many Latin-American markets like Ideal.
- The tea can be added to margaritas and daiquiris. It is very red, so be careful not to stain your clothing