Hibiscus syrup is easy to make and adds tart berry flavor to any ordinary beverage. It's also good over ice cream, brushed onto cake layers, poured over pancakes, and drizzled over yogurt. It's virtues are endless!
Combine the water, sugar and hibiscus flowers in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice. Split and scrape the vanilla seeds from the vanilla bean and add the seeds to the pot. Add the bean pod also; stir until the sugar is melted. Remove from heat.
Let the mixture steep for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve; strain again through a cheesecloth or tea towel to remove fine powdered hibiscus debris.
Transfer the mixture to an 8 cup measure with a pour spout. Fill sterilized jars or bottles and close with tightly fitting lids. Let stand at room temperature until cool, about 1 hour. Transfer bottles to the refrigerator.
Syrup will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.