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.”
Made from dried roselle leaves. Or in Spanish, we call it “flor de jamaica.”
It is tart and sweet.
Think cranberry juice but three to five time better!
You know the wine rule of thumb: red wine goes with red beef, and white wine goes with chicken or fish?
Well, this drink goes perfectly with just about any Mexican dishes.
Chicken, beef, pork, fish, you name it. Agua de Jamaica is light, just right and DELICIOUS!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
If you can’t find it at the store: BUY IT HERE
Although, my local store sells tea bags made of hibiscus. Maybe because it is now trendy to drink Jamaica Water.
Boil water. (No. We’re not about to deliver a baby… just a great drink.)
Then add the Jamaica “flowers” and sugar.
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.
Oh, I should also mention that she’s the only one of her siblings without diabetes.
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.
Please know that I have never made it like this. Just heard about it. If you make it this way, let me know!
I have also heard of people who cold brew their Agua de Jamaica. Then take the leftover flowers and hot brew the second batch. Again, if you try this, please 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.
It freezes extremely well.
I know some people who freeze any leftover Agua de Jamaica and make ice cubes with it.
Or pour the Jamaica Water into popsicle molds for a yummy summer treat.
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.
It’s also good for high blood pressure and 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.
Agua de Jamaica goes great with just about any Mexican recipe.
You can only use the flowers for ONE boiling.
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 tinga for the leftover hibiscus flower.
This recipe will make quite a bit of concentrate.
Make some that day, then leave the concentrate for another day. It will last for 3 days in the fridge.
I garnished the Agua de Jamaica with mint leaves for color. Not for taste.
Serve a large pitcher and you’ll see how fast it finishes.
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- 12 cups of water
- 1 ½ cups dried Jamaica flowers (or hibiscus, or flor de Jamaica)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Mint (for garnish)