AGUA DE JAMAICA (Iced Hibiscus Tea)

This is a favorite beverage on a hot day anywhere Latinx people congregate, including at Carola’s house. It goes well with quesadillas.

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Makes 2 quarts

1 cup water

3/4 to 1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)

1 cup dried hibiscus flowers

1/2 cinnamon stick, a few thin slices ginger, allspice berries, or lime juice (optional)


Boil water and sugar for one minute to make a simple syrup. Combine syrup, hibiscus flowers, cinnamon stick or other additions, and enough water to make two quarts. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Strain and discard the used hibiscus flowers, ginger, cinnamon, and/or allspice berries.


Alternatively, you can make a concentrate with one quart of water, and when ready to serve, add a quart of chilled soda water for a bubbly version. Serve over ice with a slice of orange or lime.


Note: the hibiscus used in this recipe (Hibiscus sabdariffa, also called roselle) is not the kind that we normally grow in our back yards. You can find it in Mexican grocery stores or on line.