Jamaica is pronounced (Ha-mike-ah) — not Jamaica, the Caribbean Island. In Mexico, agua de jamaica is served like we serve and drink iced tea in America. Its gorgeous ruby red color is enticing enough and once you add some ice cubes, this refreshing tea will taunt you to no end.
Spring is in the air and this light and thirst quenching drink is a nice change after all those heavy and thick winter drinks – it’s a welcoming change. My kids love this drink too; it’s like kool-aid for them.
My mom says it’s a great diuretic and drinks it often using a sugar substitute.
Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea)
2 cups dry jamaica/hibiscus flowers
3/4 cup granulated sugar (more if desired)
6 cups water
Mint leaves (optional)
Rinse and drain the dried jamaica flowers in a large colander. Bring the water to a boil. Add the flowers and sugar and stir continuously while the mixture boils for one minute. Careful not to boil the tea too long or your tea will have a slightly bitter aftertaste. Remove from the heat and steep for 2 hours. Let the tea cool, and then strain it into a pitcher. Refrigerate until time to serve. Ladle into a tall glass filled with ice and garnish with fresh mint leaves (optional).
Photography by Jeanine Thurston