"I was just searching for a recipe for Hibiscus Wine. It makes great tea so
I figured maybe it would make great wine." Zach Wilson, location unknown
Hibiscus spp. is a genus, one of many of the mallow (Malvacea) family, each of which contains many species. Among the better known are H. sabdariffa, H. heterophyllus, H. rosa-sinensis, H. moscheutos, H. divaricatus, H. syriacus, H. splendens, H. diversifolius, and H. trionum. While all species have edible flowers, some are "more edible" than others, meaning that a small percentage may have problems with certain species in the same way that a small percentage has problems with almost any species you care to name. Generally, H. sabdariffa is considered the "most edible."
Personally, I buy the H. sabdariffa flowers already dried and ready to be crushed for tea. However, a friend also picks flowers for me and sun-dries them for me. Both make very good wine, but the ones I buy have better color preservation. I generally buy dried red or purple flowers, which make red or purple wine.
Dried whole or crushed flowers are available from many specialty and health food stores and are used to make a delicious tea. Combine water and sugar and put on to boil, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Tie flowers in nylon straining bag and put in primary. Pour boiling sugar-water over flowers and stir in all ingredients except yeast. Cover primary until water cools to room temperature. Squeeze flowers to extract maximum flavor and then discard flowers or use for tea. Add activated yeast, recover primary, and stir daily until active fermentation dies down (7-8 days). Rack to secondary, top up with water and fit airlock. Ferment 30 days then rack into clean secondary. Refit airlock and rack again after additional 30 days. Wait a final 2 months, rack again and stabilze wine. After 10-14 days, bottle in dark glass. May drink immediately, but improves in six months. [Author's own recipe]
My sincerest thanks to Zach Wilson, location unknown, for this request.