Monday, May 21, 2012

Agua de Jamaica

As I have mentioned several times, the warm weather has thankfully arrived! (and I am extremely happy about it!) And so to celebrate it, I have turned to cooling foods and drinks. My mother gave me a bag of dried flor de jamaica leafs that she bought at her local Latino market--needless to say as soon as it got warm I made a pitcher of agua de jamaica (hibiscus tea) to quench our thirst (my son calls this drink "juicy tea"). It is simple to make and best of all, it tastes wonderful!

 Ingredients (simple version)
-Flor de Jamaica leafs
-light brown sugar

 What to do?
In a medium pot (a soup pot will do), boil 10 to 12 cups of water, then add about 1/3 of bag of dried leafs and brown sugar to taste -- let it boil together for 4 minutes. Let it cool off for a few minutes, then using a large colander pour the mixture into another pot (draining leafs from juice). Let it cool completely, then transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate. It tastes best when juice is completely cold--but if you can't wait, pour juice into a glass with ice. 

**For a spicier drink, you can add any one of these: cinnamon sticks, a few small pieces of crushed fresh ginger, lime juice, mint leafs, or allspice berries to the boiling mixture. If you want to turn this wonderful "juicy tea" into a summer cocktail, you can also add vodka and garnish it with orange slices. 

Whichever way you decide to make it, I am certain it will cool you off during the hot days of summer. Salud!

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