A.k.a., agua de jamaica, a beautifully vibrant Mexican beverage that I discovered less than a week ago. A Mexican drink with no alcohol in it?! How had I never heard of this before??
I sipped my first glass at last Wednesday’s evening market at Seattle’s Pike Place Market—I was very excited to find out that they do a mini version of the market during the summer, Wednesdays from 5 to 8pm out on the cobblestones.
It’s especially great for all us working stiffs who can’t get there before 5pm to grab some fresh berries…
…or a bouquet.
Anyway, there was a huge pitcher of this tea at a tamale stand, and I was immediately attracted by the color—an intense hot pink that almost registered as red.
As I had my first taste, I was expecting to get big hits of that flowery-ness you usually get from herbal teas, but I was pleasantly surprised by how fruity it tasted. And the flavor was nice and bold—almost punch-like. It was a little on the sweet side, but I knew that would be easy enough to adjust if I whipped up my own batch at home. And I got right on that!
For my version, I added raspberry juice for an extra fruity flavor, and am completely obsessed with the result. I made this over the weekend, and I’ve been guzzling it like crazy.
I’m looking forward to making more throughout the summer—it’s totally a reading-on-the-patio-on-a-lazy-Sunday type sipper, and would be great at a BBQ. Hope you like it!
Raspberry Hibiscus Iced Tea
Ready in: 35 min
1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
4 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cups raw honey (1/2 cup if you want a more tart flavor)
Orange slices for garnish (optional)
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Stir in honey until melted.
- Remove from heat, then add hibiscus flowers. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
- While the hibiscus is steeping, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat raspberries, using the back of a fork to crush raspberries to release juices. Once raspberries are in a pureed state, place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and pour puree through, using the back of a spoon to press as much juice through as possible.
- Juice the limes.
- Strain hibiscus leaves from liquid, pouring tea into a large pitcher. Add lime juice, raspberry juice, and four more cups of water, then refrigerate until cold. (If you’d like to serve the ice tea right away, add ice instead of water.)
- Serve over ice and garnish with orange slices.