I first had this refreshing drink when I visited Tijuana Mexico to pick up my son who had spent two years there doing volunteer work for our church. We were invited to dinner by the president of the mission where he was working, and we were served the delicious beverage with our meal At first, I thought maybe it was cranberry juice mixed with something else – it had a similar tart-ness to it – but after inquiring, I learned it was Jamaica. (pronounced ha-mike-ah)
Jamaica or hibiscus flowers are dried and sold in bulk in plastic bags. You can find them in almost every corner market in Mexico and in the US in a variety of Latino grocery stores. Here’s the recipe for making a cool, refreshing drink that is perfect for a hot summer day.
2 c. dried jamaica blossoms
3 c. water
4 c. cold water
sugar (or artificial sweetener) to taste
Place the flowers in 3 cups water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest for 4 hours, or overnight.
Strain the liquid and discard the flowers. Combine the liquid with the 4 c. cold water and sugar, adjusting to your desired sweetness. I like mine a little on the tart side, so I don’t add much sweetener.
Pour over ice and enjoy!
Jamaica doesn’t just taste good — it’s good for you as well. It is rich in antioxidants and can speed up your metabolism, giving you more energy. It has been shown to maintain fluid levels in your body and lower bad cholesterol too.
Give it a try. I bet you will like it!