Homemade Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Iced Tea)

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Agua de jamaica or Hibiscus Iced Tea is one of my favorite non-alcoholic drinks. It’s a very popular drink in Mexico where I’m from, often accompanying homemade meals or street tacos. You may have seen it at Mexican food restaurants around the world offered as an agua fresca.

The drink is basically prepared by steeping the flor de jamaica (dried hibiscus flower) and adding sweetener and other flavors like ginger, cinnamon, clove, and even rum.

It can be served hot or cold.

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Organic “flor de jamaica” from Mexico City.

The hibiscus flowers can be found in Latin American grocery stores or at the Latin American section of your local grocery store. I bought mine on my most recent trip to Mexico. You can also order some from Amazon: 7 oz bag and 1 Lb Bag

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Dried flor de jamaica (hibiscus flower).

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The drink is very simple to make: Boil water, dissolve sugar, add other flavors, steep flor de jamaica for 20 minutes, drain, add more water to the concentrate, and drink warm or serve over ice!

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Straining the hibiscus after steeping.
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More straining.
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Warm Hibiscus Tea.
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Iced Hibiscus Tea!

Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Iced Tea) Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Yield: Makes 2 quarts.


8 cups water, divided
1/2 cup sugar or choice of sweetener
1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1/2 cinnamon stick (optional)
A few thin slices of ginger (optional)
Lime juice (optional)


Put 4 cups of the water and the sugar in a saucepan. Add cinnamon or ginger slices if using. Heat until boiling and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in the dried hibiscus flowers.
Cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
Strain into a pitcher , press the hibiscus flowers to squeeze all the juice out and discard the used flowers, ginger and cinnamon.
Add remaining 4 cups of water (or if you want to chill the drink quickly, ice and water) to the concentrate, and chill. You could also use some soda water for a bubbly drink. Add more sweetener if needed. 
Add lime juice for extra flavor.
Serve over ice and enjoy!

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It’s a perfect drink for entertaining too!

19 thoughts on “Homemade Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Iced Tea)

      1. It’s called kirkaday, and its a kind of hospitality drink offered to guests visiting, especially if they dont drink tea. We make it as your instructions, but its a hot drink as often as cold. I love it both ways, but it’s famous for lowering the blood pressure and I have a problem with low blood pressure already, so I try to be careful about it.
        Btw, it tastes awesome mixed 50/50 with tamarind – did you ever try that?

        1. Tamarind “agua fresca” in Mexico is also very common and yummy but I haven’t tried the two together. Next time I get the opportunity I will 🙂
          I’ve tried jamaica and lemonade together, also very yummy.

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I was in Mexico all last week and this was on the offer everywhere – at the resort and on the excursions we went on. Delicious!

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