Also known agua de Jamaica in Latin American countries or sorrel in the Caribbean, hibiscus flower leaves have been cultivated around the world and made into a delicious tangy beverage. The taste is a cross between a tamarind drink and fruit punch. I first tasted agua de Jamaica when my Guatemalan friend invited me over for dinner and his parents made this drink. At first I was a little thrown off that a flower could taste so much like fruit punch. The family explained to me that the drink has lots of health benefits. The leaves have a high content of vitamin C and is believed to help reduce high blood pressure. Even though it’s health benefits are barely being acknowledged in the states, people around the world have been drinking this beverage for years from Thailand, Malaysia, Africa, to the Caribbean.
The bright red juice makes for a gorgeous presentation at dinner parties. It looks more or less like a sangria and could be flavored with other herbs like ginger, mint, or cinnamon. You could also add this juice to your own sangria concoction.You can find hibiscus leaves at your local Mexican supermarket for $3-5 a bag.
Hibiscus tea for 2
- In a medium sauce pan, add the water and sugar and bring to a boil, stair until sugar has dissolved completely.
- Add dried hibiscus flowers, reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes and turn off heat.
- When tea has cooled completely, strain the flowers.
- Divide tea into 2 mason jars, add ice and enjoy. 🙂