Agua de Jamaica. Spring came and I am determined to incorporate more flowers and herbs to my meals. And this delicious agua fresca (literally fresh or cold hibiscus water) is nothing but an iced tea that is made by boiling dried hibiscus flowers. In Venezuela, hibiscus is called cayenas, but in México and Central America they are known as Jamaica.
During my childhood in Caracas, I used to “steal” the hibiscus (teeny, which seemed wild) from the gardens of our neighbors to honey suckle them. Now, the tart and acidic flavor of the agua de Jamaica is my favorite, not to mention the bright deep red color.
Agua de Jamaica | Ingredients for 8 servings
7 cups water, divided
½ cup dried hibiscus flowers
¾ cup sugar
In a pot, put half the water to boil. Add the flowers and let boil for 2 minutes uncovered.
Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Strain and discard solids.
Add the remaining water and sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Serve with plenty of ice.
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