Homemade Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Iced Tea)

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.

Homemade agua de jamaica
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

agua de jamaica1
Dried flor de jamaica (hibiscus flower).

agua de jamaica2

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!

Homemade agua de jamaica
Straining the hibiscus after steeping.
agua de jamaica4
More straining.
Homemade agua de jamaica
Warm Hibiscus Tea.
Homemade agua de jamaica
Iced Hibiscus Tea!

Homemade Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Iced Tea) Recipe

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

Ingredients

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)

Directions

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!

Homemade agua de jamaica

It’s a perfect drink for entertaining too!

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

  1. I tried this at a Peruvian place not long ago. It was very delicious.

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  2. Oh nice, I have to keep an eye out for those hibiscus flowers!

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  3. Looks like a great drink, and here it’s the peak of summer… what should I say 🙂

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  4. 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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    1. Oh cool! Now you can see it’s easy to make your own! 😉

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  5. We drink this in egypt, too, it’s wonderful! Great post!

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      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?

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      2. 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.

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      3. I’ll have to try the lemonade mix with jamaica, sounds wonderful for the summertime! ♥♥♥ ;^)

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  6. this looks good! thanks for the recipe 🙂

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  7. Can you make this using fresh hibiscus instead of dried?

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    1. If you mean with hibiscus flower? No. Agua de jamaica or hibiscus tea is actually not made from hibiscus flower. It is made from the calyces of the roselle flower (Hibiscus sabdariffa). 🙂

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  8. oh wow thank you for this i am going to save it to my scrapbook this is fabulous hehe xx

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  9. you should back link and enter it in to the Tea Party!

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  10. Agua de jamaica is my favorite flavored water! And tamarindo, and horchata 😀

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