Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea)

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.

Ahhhh, refreshing!

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

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  1. This sound so refreshing. It looks like the passion ice tea at Starbucks. Where would I begin to look for dry jamaica/hibiscus flowers? xo

    • You can usually find dried hibiscus flowers near the loose teas in natural food stores. Or try a Latino food market. They are so worth the scavenger hunt — Good luck!

  2. I will have to make this very soon. I’ll have to find where I can get the dry flowers

  3. For those of you who have limited options in your communities you can always mail order it here:

  4. Maria Ortiz-Cintron Reply

    I love this… I first had Agua de Jamaica last summer in L.A. Had never heard about it before then, so delicious and refreshing! How would you describe the taste? I’d say, it reminds me of a less intense, less sweetened fruit punch. Thanks so much for the recipe and the link to purchase online.

  5. Almost every restaurant in Mexico serves iced cold jamaica. It is so refreshing on a hot day. It is also usually too sweet for our taste, so we order one glass and one water, and pour them back and forth until they are both equally diluted. Ahhh…. I could drink one right now.


    • I so agree Kathleen! I always order mine with extra ice, so that it waters the tea down. Now I’m craving a warm summer day. We had 80 degrees on Saturday and then it snowed all day yesterday. Crazy Colorado weather!

  6. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction to look for the tea. xo

  7. Agua de Jamaica brings back so many great memories of vacationing in Mexico. You know those hot summer days, walking to la plaza and cooling off with a big glass of agua de jamaica. Looks gorgeous!

  8. Refreshing and easy to make. Will definitely want some jamaica on the first hot day (hopefully soon).

  9. Sara, it was so great to meet you! Hope to see you soon! Sooo love your cute logo!

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  11. I drank this a lot in Guatemala and it is like drinking pure sunshine. I grow hibiscus plants at home now and use the flowers for this tea. It’s also really nice to add fresh fruit like strawberries , blueberries, and raspberries to the iced tea. A perfect summer drink!

  12. I made pitcher of agua de jamaica …. it is fabulous on hot spring day like today. This is my go to beverage in the summer.

  13. we used to drink in Northern Mexico all the time since is hot 10 moths of the year; but We never boiled it. We just let is soak overnight. I wonder wich way is better.

  14. These are actually NOT hibiscus flowers. These are what Jamaicans call sorrel and Mexicans call jamaica. Hibiscus flowers and sorrel are two TOTALLY DIFFERENT PLANTS. If you use dried hibiscus flower to make a jamaica it is not the same as the Mexican jamaica drink. Hibiscus and sorrel are not even in the same family of flowers.

  15. Okay, my mistake. According to the internet, they are of the same family and genus. But they are two very different looking flowers, and sorrel is usually NOT called by the name hibiscus. But as I stated before this drink is made with sorrel.

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  18. Would love to send you a sample of our delicious blend of Hibiscus Sorrel Passion tea for your review. Thank you.

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