I really like the Starbucks Very Berry Hibiscus drink and once they didn't have it, so I thought it was discontinued. Luckily it's not discontinued, but I still thought I'd try to make it at home.
I found a recipe here and a few other places, but I decided to use the one I linked to (from Copykat) because it seemed most reasonable. I altered the ingredients a bit though and altered the method a lot. Here are the ingredients I used to make 1 quart.
- ~1 tbsp loose hibiscus tea (I got some from TheTinyHouseFarm on Etsy).
- ~1 tbsp loose green tea
- 1/2 cup frozen berries (I just got a blend)
- Water filled to the level on the iced tea maker pitcher (some people use bottled but I think I just used filtered from the fridge)
- Ice filled to the level on the pitcher
- 1/2 cup white grape juice
- 4 tbsp Torani syrup (plain flavor - I used strawberry one time but didn't like it)
Here are the utilities I needed:
- Coffee filters (basket type)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mr. Coffee iced tea maker
- Fruzer fruit infuser bags
Since I had the iced tea maker, the method was different from the recipe. The iced tea maker is kind of interesting. You put water and tea into the maker area and ice into the pitcher. The tea gets brewed hot and when it dispenses into the pitcher it melts the ice, thus creating a cold tea at the right tea:water ratio. I found it doesn't really melt all the ice immediately so I had to let it sit for a little while.
The tea measurement took a while to figure out. It says to use a tea bag of hibiscus and a tea bag of green in 2 cups of water. I didn't have tea bags so I had to determine how much tea was in a bag (~1 tablespoon). The iced tea maker makes 1-3 quarts which is 4 cups, 8 cups, or 12 cups of water. That means 2 tbsp and 2 tbsp for each quart. The iced tea maker has a brew strength setting which I put at medium. It also comes with tea amount suggestions. Using that and my calculations, I decided to do 1 tbsp of each tea for 1 quart of water. I think this can vary quite a bit based on your taste. You just put it in the filter and put that in the basket. If you use tea bags, you don't need a filter.
Since 1 quart is double the recipe, I doubled the rest of the ingredients. That meant 1/2 cup of berries, which I put in 2 of the fruit infuser bags. I added them before I turned on the iced tea maker. Here's a video of the machine working.
After it got done, I put in the grape juice and syrup. One thing to note about the machine is that it keeps dispensing tea for up to 15 minutes after it turns off. The brewing takes like 5-10 minutes per quart so expect to leave it connected for 20-25 minutes.
I thought the drink was just ok. I don't think it was quite there, but I'm not sure what it needs except possibly more tartness. I thought maybe it needed regular grape juice for that, but I'm not sure. I may have already tried that because I made this twice. It tasted about the same both times. Maybe it needs to have the green coffee powder mentioned in the Copykat introduction. I might try that out if I make it again. I'm not too familiar with tea flavors so I don't know if the tea was too strong or weak so I could experiment with that as well.