Every once in a while I stumble upon a recipe that is so easy and delicious I just can’t contain my excitement to share it with you. This Hibiscus Tea (a.k.a. Agua de Jamaica) is definitely one of those recipes!
While I’ve been working from home these past 6 weeks the husband has been (repeatedly) suggesting that I come meet him for his lunch break at this taco place called Chuy’s near his office. I keep meaning to go, but the light in my kitchen is best during the time he usually takes his lunch, and I just can’t waste the good light, you know?
Yesterday was my birthday (27!), so we were out and about and happened to be near Chuy’s around the lunch time hour. He’s been going on and on about the carnitas tacos in this place because of the awesome “bark” on the meat. According to my husband, the “bark” is the crispy brown bits on the outside of the meat.
Since we were right there, and I don’t ever turn down tacos, I agreed to hit up the taco place for lunch. I was surprised to find that it was located in the middle of a strip mall, but more often than not the best food can be found in the weirdest places.
The carnitas were pretty much life-changing (yes, honey, you were right), but I’ll have to tell you more about them some day soon when I figure out how to re-create them at home. Anyway, the point of this story is that while we were there I noticed a big jug of bright magenta liquid on the counter labeled “Jamaica.” I had to figure out what it was, and after a little research I found that sweetened hibiscus tea is commonly called Agua de Jamaica in parts of Latin America. Hibiscus flowers are known simply as “Jamaica,” hence the beautiful name.
If you have a hard time finding hibiscus flowers to use for the tea, try looking in a local Hispanic supermarket (usually on the bulk or dried food aisle near the chilies), or ordering them online. I get mine from Frontier Natural Co-op and they are incredible. One of these bags will last you a loooong time.
Here’s Your Recipe!
- 1/3 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 4 cups water
- 1/3 cup honey (or sugar)
- 1 Lime, sliced or cut into wedges
- Bring 4 cups water to a boil, add the hibiscus flowers, and turn off the heat. Let steep 30 minutes, then strain out the flowers. Stir in the honey until dissolved. Chill.
- Serve over ice with a fresh squeeze of lime juice.