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Made from dried Hibiscus Flowers, this Agua de Jamaica recipe is one of my favorite all-ages drink recipes and is a tart herbal tea you can serve hot or cold. Sweeten Hibiscus Tea with sugar or honey for a refreshing summery sip.

Glasses of Agua de Jamaica on a tray with hibiscus flowers and straws.

Agua de Jamaica is part of a group of drinks called agua frescas, Spanish for “fresh waters,” that make hitting your daily water quota so much easier and more flavorful. (See also: My 8 best infused water ideas.) Agua frescas are having a moment on TikTok, but this is no passing food trend.

Hibiscus Tea is a spirit-free beverage that’s been made in Africa, India, Jamaica, and Mexico for centuries with water infused with dried flor de Jamaica, or Hibiscus flowers (Hibiscus sabdariffa). This sweet-tart drink recipe has a very subtle tang similar to cranberry, and little tastes more refreshing on a hot summer day than an icy glass of Agua de Jamaica with lime, please, if you ask me!

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Step by step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. Recipe FAQs
  5. Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea) Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Agua de Jamaica.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

  • Dried Hibiscus Flowers (Flor de Jamaica): Look for dried flor de Jamaica at your local international or Mexican supermarket or order them online. Use a food scale to measure out 2 ½ ounces for this recipe, or you can roughly estimate by scooping up 1 ½ dry cups.
  • Sugar: Customize the sweetness level by adding sugar to taste. You can also sweeten hibiscus tea with honey if desired.

Step by step instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups water and 1 ½ cups dried hibiscus flowers.
A saucepan with Jamaica (Hibiscus) flowers in it being hydrated in water.
  1. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the dried flowers have softened, about 15 minutes.
A saucepan with Jamaica (Hibiscus) flowers in it being hydrated in water.
  1. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove dried flowers, pressing down on them to extract as much liquid as possible (you will have about 3 cups liquid).
Straining Agua de Jamaica.
  1. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Transfer to a large pitcher and stir in remaining 8 cups cold water.
A pitcher of Agua de Jamaica.
  1. Serve over ice with lime wedges if desired.
Glasses of Agua de Jamaica on a tray with hibiscus flowers and straws.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: My Agua de Jamaica recipe makes 12 cups of hibiscus tea, enough for 12 refreshing 8-ounce servings.
  • Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Jamaica Concentrate: In Mexico, sometimes they make and refrigerate just the concentrated Jamaica syrup. Then, to make an individual serving, they add some Jamaica syrup to a glass with ice and top with water to taste. To do this, omit the 8 additional cups of water after straining and refrigerate the concentrate in a small glass pitcher or plastic bottle.
  • Sugar free: You can omit the sugar in Agua de Jamaica and let people add their preferred sweetener to taste. The sugar won’t dissolve as easily as in warm water, but it’s a good work-around if you need it. This works for the concentrated Jamaica syrup, too.
  • Agua de Horchata: This creamy rice-based drink is another classic Mexican beverage.
Glasses of Agua de Jamaica on a tray with hibiscus flowers and straws.

Recipe FAQs

How can I save this drink recipe if it turned out too sweet?

No worries! Stir in extra water to the finished pitcher or your individual glass until you reach your desired level of sweetness.

Could I transform Agua de Jamaica into a cocktail?

I like the way you think. For the 21+ crowd, consider adding a shot of tequila or vodka to each serving.

Agua de Horchata (Rice Water)

Agua de Horchata is a sweet, creamy beverage served in many Latin American countries. This version is from Mexico, and it’s so refreshing with tacos, burritos, and fajitas. Agua de Horchata is the perfect antidote…

2 hours 10 minutes
View Recipe

More drinks from Mexico

Glasses of Agua de Jamaica on a tray with hibiscus flowers and straws.

Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea)

Made from dried Hibiscus Flowers, this Agua de Jamaica recipe is one of my favorite all-ages drink recipes and is a tart herbal tea you can serve hot or cold. Sweeten Hibiscus Tea with sugar or honey for a refreshing summery sip.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Servings 12 servings (1 cup each)
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 64

Ingredients 

  • 12 cups water divided
  • 1 1/2 cups dried hibiscus flowers (flor de Jamaica, about 2 ½ ounces, see note 1)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar or to taste (see note 2)
  • Ice and lime wedges, for serving, optional

Instructions 

  • In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups water and 1 ½ cups dried hibiscus flowers. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the dried flowers have softened, about 15 minutes.
  • Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove dried flowers, pressing down on them to extract as much liquid as possible (you will have about 3 cups liquid).
  • Stir in sugar until dissolved. Transfer to a large pitcher and stir in remaining 8 cups cold water. Serve over ice with lime wedges if desired.

Notes

  1. Dried Hibiscus Flowers (Flor de Jamaica): Look for dried flor de Jamaica at your local international or Mexican supermarket or order them online. Use a food scale to measure out 2 ½ ounces for this recipe, or you can roughly estimate by scooping up 1 ½ dry cups.
  2. Sugar: Customize the sweetness level by adding sugar to taste. You can also sweeten hibiscus tea with honey if desired.
  3. Yield: My Agua de Jamaica recipe makes 12 cups of hibiscus tea, enough for 12 refreshing 8-ounce servings.
  4. Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 64kcalCarbohydrates: 17gFat: 0.1gSodium: 13mgPotassium: 6mgSugar: 17gVitamin A: 88IUCalcium: 10mgIron: 0.03mg
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Iā€™m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Meggan Hill

Iā€™m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

    1. Hi Irene, I have reused the leaves and the second time it is usually a lot weaker, but still tasty. You could try it and see what you think. If it’s for myself, I don’t mind the weaker version, but if you’re serving it for a party then you might want to start with fresh leaves. I hope this helps. I wouldn’t attempt for more than 2 uses. Good luck! -Meggan

  1. For my daughter’s birthday she requested I make this drink. I have tried it once before from a co-worker and I did not like it. Your recipe is amazing. I made it on the stove top. It was so delicious, will definitely be making this again. thank you for sharng! I’m sure my daughter will love this tomorrow!5 stars

  2. Thank you do much for the recipe for Aqua de jamican HIBISCUS TEA. My husband and I were at a furniture store and the sales lady we had offered us something to drink and it was this tea it was so good, I was what is this, That’s when she told us about this tea Since then I went to the store and got it I can’t wait to make this now. I’m going to do it with a cinnamon stick and a slice of orange. Thanks you for these recipes I will be trying them..Have a special day. ..

  3. I love Agua de Jamaica! I tried yours and it is so refreshing on a hot day – not too sweet, so flavorful! Thanks for sharing. This is as authentic as it gets!5 stars