At the temple ruins in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Khao Yai National Park, Thailand on December 13th.

Friday, August 8, 2014

How to make Jamaica (a cool refreshing drink!)

Jamaica (pronounced in Spanish as Ha-Mike-Ah) is a popular cold drink in Mexico. Sometimes known as Hibiscus Tea in other parts of the world, because it's made from the flowers of the hibiscus plant.

We really like this drink, and Ruth found that she can buy the dried flowers at Bulk Barn here in Canada.

You can actually make this drink from either the dried hibiscus flowers or dried rosehips. In fact, the stuff at Bulk Barn is actually called rosehip jamaica.

I find that it tastes exactly the same, however some report that the rosehip variety is slightly sweeter.

An example of dried hibiscus flowers that you can buy in Mexico.

I had never tried this drink prior to our travels in Mexico. But it's so popular there, probably because it's so refreshing in hot weather, and because it's also very cheap. And it's available almost everywhere. Down there, it's called agua de jamaica.

Because there is added sugar, we sometimes find that they make it too sweet. But when Ruth makes it, she has experimented enough that she's got it down to exactly the way we like it.

If you've never tried it, you really should. Here's Ruth's recipe...

Jamaica Concentrate

8 cups water
2 cups (3 ounces) dried hibiscus/jamaica flowers
1 1/2 cups sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

To prepare
In a 6- or 8-quart saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add flowers, stir and simmer over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool a bit.

Strain mixture into a large container (with a lid to cover later), and add the sugar and lime juice. Stir until well-dissolved.

Once the concentrate has cooled, cover well and refrigerate. It will keep in the refrigerator for months. Note that this is a concentrate. You need to dilute it with cold water in order to drink it!

Dilute each cup of the concentrate with 2 to 3 of cups water depending on how strong you like it. Serve over ice cubes, or refrigerate until very cold.

I just checked, and of course you can buy various sizes and varieties of dried jamaica on Amazon...

This one looks like the best size and value for money... Dried Hibiscus (Jamaica) Flowers-8oz


  1. Sounds like a very tasty beverage thanks for the recipe.

  2. Rainbow has sold hibiscus tea for years!

    1. Is it the dried leaves or is it actual tea or tea bags?

  3. Wow, I am going to have to try this!!

    1. I hope that you do! It is definitely a nice summery drink, sorta refreshing like iced tea is.

  4. I was intrigued by the beverage, but was thinking it was more in the line of a cocktail. :)

    1. Nope this is totally non-alcoholic, I know this is a surprise coming from us!

  5. Aah, brings back Latin American memories.

    1. It sure does, make us think of Mexico every time we have it.

  6. Not sure if it is in tea bags or loose. Will try to remember next time I'm in the health food store to look for it!


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