Agua Fresca de Jamaica

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There is nothing better to quench your thirst on a hot summer day than a cold glass of Agua Fresca de Jamaica.  Made from dried Hibiscus flowers, the crimson or deep magenta-colored flowers infuse the cold drink with a beautiful hue.

People drink Agua de Jamaica both hot and cold. The beverage has a tart, cranberry-like flavor. We enjoy ours with a squeeze of lime juice. 


That’s the beauty of agua frescas. You can make it as sweet as you like. You can sweeten agua frescas de jamaica with piloncillo, cane sugar, or like we do here in our recipe with an artificial sweetener since we are trying to watch our sugar intake. 

Yield: about 9 cups

Agua de Jamaica

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Cooling Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 27 minutes


  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups dried hisbcus flower
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed
  • 2 cups ice cubes


  1. Combine water, dried hibiscus flowers, cinnamon stick and anise in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool 5-10 minutes.
  4. Carefully strain the hot liquid through a fine sieve and discard solids.
  5. Add ice to the hot jamaica to help cool the mixture faster. Allow the mixture come close to room temperature before refrigerating (otherwise it could raise the temperature of your fridge and potentially spoil food). Refrigerate 6 hours, or overnight.
  6. Serve chilled or over ice, garnished with lime wedges.


To sweetened with piloncillo or sugar, add the sweetener in the first step. You can always adjust the sweetness as you go.

Be sure to check out our recipe for Agua Fresca de Sandia (Watermelon).  

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