Have you ever heard of Agua de Jamaica? It’s a classic Mexican ice tea made with dried hibiscus flowers and cinnamon. My Agua de Jamaica recipe is inspired by one of my favorite cookbooks, My Mexico City Kitchen by the amazing Gabriela Camara.
If you can get your hands on some dried hibiscus flowers, then this is what you want to make with them! Basically, you’re making a hibiscus concentrate, that you then dilute with water to make a super refreshing summer drink. Traditionally, the Agua de Jamaica recipe is sweetened with white sugar. But I took the sugar out because I’m trying to reduce my sugar intake.
How do you make Hibiscus Ice Tea?
To make this ice tea, you’re making a simple concentrate that you will then use diluted with water. All you need to do is boil the hibiscus flowers with a cinnamon stick. You can add sugar, but that’s totally optional as I find the cinnamon stick gives it a slightly sweet flavor on its own. Then you let it cool. Easy, no?
How can I turn it into a cocktail?
So to make this ice tea concentrate into a cocktail, all you need to do is:
In a large glass, add 1 tablespoon of hibiscus concentrate. Top with Prosecco and add a cinnamon stick or sliver of lime for garnish and you’re set! You can also add a shot of Gin or Tequila if you’d like, and then top with Prosecco. Or, you can replace the Prosecco with sparkling water if you don’t want it to be too strong. Think of it as a Hibiscus flavored Gin & Tonic or a Hibiscus Margarita.
If you’re making a cocktail, bear in mind that the concentrate is quite sour so you might want to add in some sugar syrup to really help the flavors shine. But you can definitely leave it out if you like sour, tart drinks.
My Agua de Jamaica recipe
Agua de Jamaica (hibiscus ice tea)
- 40 g dried Hibiscus flowers
- 1.2 liters water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- sugar, to taste (optional)
- Bring 1.2 liters of water to a boil.
- Add the cinnamon stick and hibiscus flowers, and turn to low.
- Simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the flowers start to float to the bottom.
- Strain the mixture over a fine-mesh strainer, then discard the flowers and pour the liquid into a glass pitcher (not plastic as it might stain). Chill in the fridge.
- Once it's cooled, you can add ice and water to your liking, as well as sugar to taste. I like to add approximately 4-5 tablespoons of concentrate, and then top it off with enough water to fill my glass. But it all depends on how sweet/tart/tangy you like your drinks, so feel free to experiment!
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