Agua de jamaica (Hibiscus Ice Tea)
Agua de jamaica is a widely known ice tea “agua fresca” that is pretty common in Latin America, especially in México and Pánama.
Also known as Mexico Jamaican water, it’s refreshing and packed with benefits for your body.
It can be drunk hot as an infusion if you are in the colder months.
Personally, I like it way more cold with tons of ice. Summer is approaching and I can’t wait to spend more time in my balcony sipping fresh agua de jamaica.
This is an easy recipe for hibiscus tea. Honestly, there is not much to say because it is pretty simple to make.
The first thing is to get dry hibiscus flowers. Here in Portugal, it’s not that common but I manage to find it in the international section of the supermarket — specifically in the Mexican section.
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What does hibiscus flower taste like?
Hibiscus flower has a tart cranberry-like flavor. It’s like a mix of berries with a lot of lime. Because of this tartness, it’s perfect to make refreshing ice tea for the summer.
One of the things I enjoy about this drink is the beautiful tropical color it has because it’s a vibrant deep purple-ish that is just so inviting!
Benefits of hibiscus tea
This is not only a delicious and refreshing drink, but it also has great properties for the body. If you want a more detailed explanation of the benefits, check out this article.
But the highlights are:
- It is an antioxidant bomb
- Helps lowering blood pressure
- It’s good for your liver
- Helps with weight loss
- Helps with water retention
All these benefits are a plus, but if you add a lot of sugar you lose these extra healthy points. That’s why I add stevia to keep my benefits and still get a sweet touch in my drink.
Making hibicus concentrate
The best way to make a big batch of hibiscus is by making a concentrate that you can dilute later when needed. This way you can keep a small sealed jar that doesn’t take too much space in your fridge with liters of hibiscus ice tea ready to serve.
Here’s the ration for the hibiscus concentrate:
1 cup of dry hibiscus flower per 3 cups of water. You can double this recipe as much as you want to get more batches of hibiscus concentrate.
The procedure is also super simple. Just let it boil for 10 to 15 minutes and strain. Let it cool completely and then mix with water and ice to your liking.
I like my agua de jamaica really strong so I use 1 cup of concentrate per ½ liter of cold water + ice. But, you can adjust it to your preferences.
Other Healthy Drinks
- 1 cup dry hibiscus flower
- 3 cups of water
- Sweetener of choice ( I use stevia)
Boil the water and add the hibiscus flowers. Let it boil for 15 minutes.
Let it cool and then strain the liquid.
Mix 1 cup of hibiscus concentrate with ½ liter of cold water and ice. Add your favorite sweetener — I use stevia— stir and serve while cold.