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Agua de Jamaica, also known as Hibiscus Water or Hibiscus Tea, is a bright red, tangy, and refreshing drink. Think cranberry juice but five times better!
With its origins in West Africa, this Mexican agua fresca made its way to Mexico thanks to the Spanish colonizers.
Similar to Agua de Tamarindo and Agua de Pepino , it is a beloved beverage across the country, enjoyed in homes, restaurants, and street food stalls alike.
Plus, did you know that it’s loaded with health benefits? Let’s explore what makes this drink so special!
dried hibiscus flowers
sugar (or to taste)
Lime juice (optional)
Lime wedges (for garnish)
Ice for serving
Jamaica, or Ha-mai-Kah, is not pronounced like the Caribbean country.
In a nutshell, it’s basically hibiscus tea. You might hear it referred to as “Hibiscus Water” or “Jamaica Drink.”
This ruby hibiscus water is a totally refreshing iced tea.
It’s made from dried hibiscus flowers. In Spanish, we call it “flor de jamaica.” The official scientific plant name is Hibiscus sabdariffa, also known as Roselle Hibiscus.
- In a large pot, bring fresh water to a boil. Add the jamaica flowers.
- Lower the heat and simmer. The liquid should turn a deep red color.
Other Steeping Methods
- Let the flowers soak in hot water for 2 hours, and it will turn out just the same.
- Do a cold brew of the dried flowers overnight. Then take the leftover flowers for a hot brew the second batch. This is a two-in-one bonus!
- Strain the tea from the hibiscus petals.
- Using the back of your cooking spoon strain the tea into a pitcher.
- Add water to the hibiscus extract.
Remove the pot from the heat, and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, strain the liquid and discard the solids.
Although, there are creative uses for hibiscus. Some people will even use the leftover flor de jamaica for tacos. Yes! Tacos! Simply add the the leftover hibiscus flower to a tortilla and serve with salsa.
Most of the flavor from the flowers will be used after it is steeped. Any more batches will be weak.
- Cinnamon stick
Great Idea! Freeze any leftovers and make ice cubes with them. Or, pour the Jamaica Water into popsicle molds for a yummy summer treat.
- Stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Add the remaining water and mix well.
- Refrigerate until chilled, and serve over ice.
The water will concentrate and will take on a deep red color as well as a thick consistency – almost like a thin syrup.
This has a strong tart flavor and needs sugar.
For my diabetic friends, you can use any sugar substitute. Or, sweeten it up with piloncillo.
Weight Loss Benefit
When you’ve eaten one too many tacos and your pantalones are too tight, make this drink. It is a natural laxative.
This recipe will make quite a bit of concentrate. Make some that day, then leave the Hibiscus concentrate for another day. It will be good for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Health Benefits & Nutritional Information
- This herbal tea is reported to help to lower high blood pressure.
- It may help people with high cholesterol, reducing heart disease.
- It may reduce sugar cravings.
- It’s loaded with Vitamin C and full of antioxidants to fight off free radicals
- It’s a great alternative to caffeinated iced tea.
While some people make claims that this can lower blood pressure this information has not been verified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). You should always check with your healthcare provider before using this natural hibiscus to control health conditions.
For 21+ readers, splash or two of vodka or tequila for alcoholic beverages.
More Agua Fresca Recipes:
- Agua de Platano
- Strawberry Agua Fresca
- Pineapple Banana Agua Fresca
- Agua de Melon
- Pineapple Agua Fresca
- Watermelon Agua Fresca
This beverage goes perfectly with just about any authentic Mexican recipe. It’s light, just right, and easy to enjoy!
Agua de Jamaica 🌺 is an excellent choice for a thirst-quenching, healthy alternative to sugary drinks. 🥤 Tickle your tastebuds while reaping the benefits of its antioxidants! 🍃💪
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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.
- Add more sugar if needed.
- Let the flowers soak in warm water for 2 hours, and it will turn out just the same.
- Do a cold brew of the dried flowers overnight. Then take the leftover flowers and hot brew the second batch.
This post was recently updated with new pictures. You might remember the old ones.
What a delicious and refreshing drink.
Glad you enjoyed this!
I love tea in so many flavors. This is a new one I need to try, it sounds so refreshing and delicious!
Glad you enjoyed this Sue!
Refreshing and delicious
Glad you enjoyed this
This drink is so refreshing! Thanks for the recipe!
So glad you enjoyed this!
This looks really refreshing! My sons will love this Agua de Jamaica!
So glad you enjoyed this!
This is a really nice drink and fab way to drink my hibiscus tea now. Thank you for sharing!
So glad you enjoyed this! Hope you try it
This looks so delicious! Can’t wait to try 🙂
Thanks! Hope you try it
I love this refreshing drink! Thanks
So glad you enjoyed this!
Christopher S Vogelmann
I love the taste of this stuff but I have to be careful not to overdo it. 😉
It’s so good. Glad you enjoyed this!