This flavorful tea is a favorite holiday drink in Jamaica, where hibiscus (known there as sorrel or flor de Jamaica) grows in abundance. It gets its signature, rich burgundy color from a long steep of the hibiscus and aromatics. Dried pimento seed (the Jamaican term for allspice) and other warming spices are traditional, as is a spicy bite from fresh ginger. A full cup of minced ginger may seem like a lot, but it adds a brightness to this tea that can't be matched. The refreshing drink is typically served chilled (and spiked with optional rum) but can also be enjoyed heated on a cold winter's day.
Add the hibiscus, cloves, pimento, ginger and orange juice to a 3.5-quart pot. Cover with 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer, skimming off any impurities from the top of the tea, for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. Remove from the heat and add the cinnamon stick and orange peel. Cover and let cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator and steeping overnight.
Meanwhile, make a simple syrup by combining the sugar with 2 cups of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar fully dissolves, then remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
Strain the tea into a large pitcher. Stir in the simple sugar and serve over ice.
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