Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea)

Jamaica is pronounced (Ha-mike-ah) — not Jamaica, the Caribbean Island. In Mexico, agua de jamaica is served like we serve and drink iced tea in America. Its gorgeous ruby red color is enticing enough and once you add some ice cubes, this refreshing tea will taunt you to no end.

Spring is in the air and this light and thirst quenching drink is a nice change after all those heavy and thick winter drinks – it’s a welcoming change. My kids love this drink too; it’s like kool-aid for them.

My mom says it’s a great diuretic and drinks it often using a sugar substitute.

Ahhhh, refreshing!

Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea)


  • 2 cups dry jamaica/hibiscus flowers
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (more if desired)
  • 6 cups water
  • Ice
  • Mint leaves (optional)


  1. Rinse and drain the dried hibiscus flowers in a large colander.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a pot. Add the flowers and cover tightly with a lid. Remove from the heat and steep for 1 hour or until cool.
  3. Strain hibiscus water into a pitcher and discard flowers. Add sugar and stir. Refrigerate until time to serve. Ladle into a tall glass filled with ice and garnish with fresh mint leaves (optional).
More recipes available at This recipe is also published in Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

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Photography by Jeanine Thurston