Random Recipe: No-Calorie Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Flower Iced Tea)

Agua de Jamaica

Wow, I have even more appreciation for food photographers after trying, in vain, to capture the garnet red of agua de jamaica. It’s a really stunning deep red color, and it’s hard to capture if your crappy corporate housing has a patio that doesn’t catch the full Mexican sun. (I can’t wait to move into our apartment, which gets tons of sunshine).

Agua de jamaica (pronounced huh-mike-ah and in English means Hibiscus flower water) is similar to a Kool-aid berry flavor, but has a subtle smoky, spicy flavor to it. It’s got three main ingredients: dried jamaica flowers, sugar and water. I opted to make a no-calorie version today using Splenda, and it was great.

Best thing about the tea, other than its taste: It’s loaded with chemicals that are good for you, but be warned: it’s also a mild diuretic.


– 3/4 cup dried jamaica flowers (be sure to rinse them off first)

– 2 1/2 cups water

– Splenda, to taste

– Ice, and lime for garnish


Bring water to a roiling boil. Add hibiscus flowers, stir over heat for about a minute. Turn off heat, and let flower water sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Using a thin mesh colandar, strain out flowers. Let tea mixture cool. Then, pour into glasses and add desired level of ice, Splenda and lime squeezes. If the jamaica flavor is too strong, add more water.

(Note: Hibiscus flowers can stain, so try not to spill on your Old Navy sweatshirt.)

9 thoughts on “Random Recipe: No-Calorie Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Flower Iced Tea)

  1. FIL Bob says:

    Never, ever sell yourself short when it comes to photography. You don’t need bright sun to make a photo pop out at the viewer. Your eye for color and composition trumps all. Great photo!!

  2. Joy says:

    Oh, and thanks Mr. Bob! I do think it turned out pretty nice, although I really wanted it to glow. Thankfully, I will just have to keep trying.

  3. junemoon says:

    Okay, Joy, now I’m going to take a looksie to see if I can find these hibiscus flowers in or around Berkeley to make this gorgeous and deelish sounding beverage! Does it stain your teeth? Probably no more than kool aid though… junemoon

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