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Agua de Jamaica, or Hibiscus Tea, is easy-to-make and always refreshing.
Sweet and tart, this drink goes well with just about any Mexican recipe.
It kills me when I go to a Mexican restaurant and pay extraordinary amounts of money for something that is a million times cheaper to make at home.
One of these such menu items is Agua de Jamaica.
Most taco shops will charge $1.99 for an 8 oz container of this refreshing drink. That’s just plain insane!
You can make a full pitcher for that amount at home. Let me show you how it is done.
How to Make Agua de Jamaica
Jamaica, or JAH-mai-kah, not pronounced like the country, Jamaica.
However, “Everyting be irie when you have dis drink, mahn.” 🙂
Agua de Jamaica is basically hibiscus tea. Literally translated, it means “Hibiscus Water.” You might also see it called “Jamaica Drink.”
It is tart and sweet. Think cranberry juice but three to five time better!
Made from dried roselle leaves. Or in Spanish, we call it “flor de jamaica.”
This beverage goes perfectly with just about any authentic Mexican recipes. Chicken, beef, pork, fish, you name it. Agua de Jamaica is light, just right and DELICIOUS!
Although, my local store sells tea bags made of hibiscus, it might just be because Jamaica Drink is trendy right now.
- Boil water.
- Add the Jamaica “flowers.”
- Let boil for 10 minutes and turn off the heat so it can steep.
For my diabetic friends, you can use Stevia or any sugar substitute.
My aunt adds piloncillo which I have always found a little bizarre, but she refuses to use white sugar. I should also mention that she’s the only one of her siblings without diabetes.
Maybe she’s onto something … ??
Other Steeping Methods
The water will concentrate and will take on a deep red color as well as a thick consistency – almost like a thin syrup.
- I’ve also heard of people who let the flowers soak in warm water for a long period of time, and it will turn out just the same.
- I have also heard of people who cold brew their Agua de Jamaica. Then take the leftover flowers and hot brew the second batch.
Please know that I have never made it like this. Just heard about it. If you make it this way, let me know!
My other aunt (not the piloncillo aunt) adds a cinnamon stick when it’s boiling. It tastes really good.
You can make this Jamaica drink well in advance. It will be good for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Jamaica Drink Weight Loss
Here’s another thing that we, Mexicans, do when we’ve eaten one too many tacos and our pantalones are too tight.
(yes, it can happen!)
We drink Agua de Jamaica. Jamaica, or Hibiscus, is a natural laxative.
Now that you know this, please don’t drink too much or you’ll be spending “mucho tiempo” on the toilet. 🙂 Lol.
Jamaica Drink Benefits
- It can help high blood pressure
- It can help people with high cholesterol.
On warm days, the hubby and I will add a splash or two of vodka for an adult beverage. I do not advise rum or whiskey, but tequila might also work well.
Most of the flavor from the flowers will be used after it is steeped. Any more batches will be weak, but there are other creative uses for the leftovers.
Some people will use leftover flor de jamaica for tacos. Yes! Tacos! Or swap out the chicken in chicken tinga for the leftover hibiscus flower.
I garnished the Agua de Jamaica with mint leaves for color. Not for taste.
Serve a large pitcher of this agua fresca and you’ll see how fast it finishes. Enjoy!
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Agua de Jamaica (Jamaica Drink)
- 12 cups water
- 1 1/2 cup Dried Jamaica flowers (or hibiscus flowers)
- 1 cup sugar
- Boil 4 cups of water.
- Add the jamaica flowers.
- Return to boil for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and cover. Let cool.
- Strain into a pitcher.
- Press down on the flowers with the back of a cooking spoon to extract the liquid.
- Add remaining water and sugar to the pitcher.
- Stir to combine.
- Garnish with mint. Add more sugar if needed.
For More Mexican Agua Fresca Recipes
Cucumber Lime Agua Fresca is an authentic Mexican beverage that is easy to prepare. Light and yummy. It is perfect for the summer months.
Cantaloupe Agua Fresca, or Agua de Melon, is the best way to beat the heat. It is a refreshing and light drink made with ripe fruit that screams summer.
Summer is the best time of the year to enjoy Pineapple Agua Fresca, or Agua de Piña. Delicious and sweet, it’s hard not to love this drink.