Agua de Jamaica is another super-refreshing Agua Fresca or Agua Preparada to ease you through these dog days of summer. Made very similarly to tea...and even simpler than the Agua de Tamarindo, it packs a punch that is bound to make you think of cranberry or pomegranate juice. it is made using dried Hibiscus flowers. And while I'm talking about drinking it super cold here...over ice preferably, it is actually a pretty comforting...all warm and floral-y...warm tea, as well. I was introduced to it by Mexi of course, this was another thing that was just a regular part of life for him. It is also rumored to be a means of reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol when drunk in quantity...natural medicine, if you will. I like to brew a couple quarts at a time and use it as a component in other drinks, as well...which I'll be posting very soon!
Agua de Jamaica
from the kitchen of girlichef (although it's made pretty much just like this, with a variation on what type of sugar people use, all around the world)
yield: 1 gallon
1 c. flor de jamaica (dried hibiscus flowers)
1 gallon water
1/2 c. agave nectar
If it is a scorching hot day and the sun is beating down, place the dried hibiscus flowers and the water in a large, glass jug and let it sit in the sun all day to steep...if it's not, or if you're in a hurry, simply put them both in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let bubble for ~10 minutes. Let cool a bit, then strain. Stir in the agave nectar. Hold under refrigeration and enjoy cold over ice...or reheat and enjoy warm, if you desire.