Jamaica - Sun Tea

One of the things I am grateful for is that, while growing up, my mother seldom let us drink soda pop. We only drank soda when we attended a birthday party or on special occasions. Although I like the taste of soda pop, I don't like all that sugar in it. I'm glad my mother always prepared aguas frescas for us and she controlled the sugar that went into these drinks.

Aguas frescas are drinks made with fresh fruit, herbs and sometimes grains. The fruit flavors range from watermelon, strawberries, tamarind to guava. Pinole (ground-toasted corn) and horchata (ground rice) are some of the grains used for aguas frescas. But my favorite has always been jamaica.

Hibiscus flowers, or jamaica (Pronounced ha-MY-cah) in Spanish, make a wonderful drink called agua de jamaica. This is an herbal tea that is served all over Mexico. It has a vibrant ruby red color and a very refreshing taste. Most Mexican restaurants in San Diego offer this drink as an alternative to ice tea.

Although most people prefer this drink sweet, I like mine unsweetened and I brew mine under the sun as opposed to boiling it on the stove.
Jamaica - Sun Tea

1 cup dried Jamaica flowers
6 cups water

Add the water to a glass jar. Place the flowers in a tea strainer and immerse it in the water. Cover the jar and place in a sunny spot in your garden. After a couple of hours the tea will be ready. Discard the
flowers and store the tea in the refrigerator until cold. Serve over ice.

This is an alternative recipe for those of you that like it sweet.

Agua de Jamaica

1 cup dried Jamaica flowers
6 cups water
3/4 cup sugar

Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the jamaica flowers. Add the sugar, reduce the heat and cook for 10 more minutes. Strain the mixture, pressing the leaves so all the juice squeezes out. Discard the flowers. Taste. If it is too tart for your taste, add more water and/or sugar to correct for tartness and sweetness. Cover and refrigerate before serving.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Qué buena idea de poner la jarra bajo el sol!