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Monday, July 13, 2015

Jamaica - No, Not the Caribbean Island

Anyone who travels frequently to Mexico is familiar with "aguas frescas", the flavored waters that are served in market stalls and restaurants throughout the country.  My favorite "agua fresca" is jamaica, a beverage made from hibiscus flowers.

Fortunately, the Mexican supermarket in Cleveland sells the dried flowers, so I am able to make it here at home.  Today I made a couple pitchers of "agua de jamaica".



Here's the recipe.  Rinse one cup of "Jamaica" flowers.  Put in a kettle with 4 cups of water, and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and allow it to stand for 2 hours.  Strain the liquid into a pitcher (discard the flowers), and add 4 more cups of water.  Stir in the juice of half a lime and one half cup of sugar (up to three quarters cup of sugar if you prefer it sweeter).  Refrigerate and serve cold.

 
 
It is not only a delicious, refreshing beverage, but it is very healthy too.  "Jamaica" is rich in vitamin C, and it is supposed to be good for blood pressure.
 

  

8 comments:

  1. Wow, I have to make this here. I am crazy about Jamaica!
    Though be careful about drinking too much at once!!

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    Replies
    1. Do you have a Mexican store nearby that sells the dry hibiscus flowers?

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  2. Perhaps. Maybe our food Co-ops have it in bulk. I've
    been meaning to check on this for years and then I forget
    after I get back home! I hope I find it!

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    Replies
    1. Good luck. I hope you find it. Our Mexican grocery has the dried flowers in bulk in a bin. It's a bit expensive... I think over $6 a pound... but it's worth it!

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  3. Agua de jamaica is one of my favorites... so good for this hot season.
    But you know another equally or more refreshing agua fresca? It's agua de chaya.
    The only time I had tasted it was on my visit to Merida, a couple of years ago. It is not popular in Monterrey, so I couldn't taste it again, until I realized I was such a fool, with the two chaya plants I have in my garden. Last week I picked about 20 leaves, washed them thoroughly, put them in the blender and got a mix of the darkest green color I had ever seen. Then I strained it into a pitcher, topped it with cold water, and added some stevia. It was pure refreshment and flavor! You should try this, I bet you'll like it. And perhaps you could take a little chaya plant home on your next visit SOB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Tino,
      I've had agua de chaya in Mérida, and I really didn't care for it. However I love crema de chaya... something I always order when I'm in the Yucatán. I don't think customs would approve of me bringing a chaya plant home!!!
      Saludos,
      Bill

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  4. My Costa Rican host mom often served me flor de jamaica, and I loved it. She gave me a packet of powdered mix to take home with me, but I still haven't made it because I wanted to save it for a special occasion. It's been 6 years now, so I wonder if it's still any good....I'll have to see if I can get my hands on some dried hibiscus flowers to make some for real.

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    Replies
    1. I doubt if the powdered mix would still be any good. Hopefully you have a Mexican grocery store in town that carries it.

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