This traditional Guatemalan or Mexican beverage is usually served with a meal or a light refreshing snack. It is typically enjoyed during warm or hot weather. I learned how to make this delicious drink from my Guatemalan husband. It is one of my family’s favorites!
A deep burgundy color, this drink actually tastes as amazing as it looks. Guatemalan hibiscus punch or agua de Jamaica, as it is called is Spanish, is a lightly sweet and energizing beverage which is great for kids and adults alike. It has a strong fruity flavor that will awaken your taste buds.
Hibiscus punch is a very delicious and refreshing drink made from Rosa de Jamaica (pronounced ha-MY-kuh) or hibiscus flowers. These beautiful, delicate flower pods come from the hibiscus sabdariffa plant. It is also known as a roselle plant.
This luscious beverage is also sometimes called hibiscus tea. It is lightly sweet and tangy. In my own humble opinion it is better that lemonade and just as refreshing.
Did you know there are at least 232 different species of hibiscus? Nature is amazing. As it turns out though, not all of them are edible. Some are grown for their beautiful flowers while some are grown for their delicious edibility.
An infusion of hibiscus tea had long been known to prevent low blood pressure, reduce blood sugar and keep your liver healthy. It can help with mensural cramps, depression, and can aid with weight control. It is also rich in vitamin C, healthy minerals and flavonoids.
Where to find hibiscus flowers
Rosa de Jamaica or hibiscus flowers can easily be ordered online. They can also be purchased in Mexican or Latino stores, usually in the bulk section. This recipe does not take very many of the dried flowers, a little goes a long way.
Apparently, when you buy Rosa de Jamaica, you are not really buying flower petals. The tea is actually made from the sepals that enclose the flower bud.
To make this simple and refreshing drink just place the hibiscus flowers in seven cups of cool water.
Allow it to sit for at least 4 hours or overnight at room temperature.
Add the sugar and mix until it is dissolved.
Strain the flowers out if desired. Refrigerate and serve over ice.
Store in the refrigerator for about a week.
The hibiscus flowers will become waterlogged and sink to the bottom. If you pour slowly the flowers will stay in the bottom of your pitcher. Leave the flowers in or you can strain them out and discard. They will not affect the flavor if you leave them in.
Guatemalan Hibiscus Punch
- ⅓ Cup Hibiscus flowers
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- 7 Cups Water
- Place hibiscus flowers in seven cups of cool water.
- Allow to sit for at least 4 hours or overnight at room temperature.
- Add sugar and mix until it is dissolved.
- Strain the flowers out if desired.
- Refrigerate and serve over ice.
If you like a stronger fruity flavor you can definitely add a little bit more of the dried hibiscus flowers. They are small but potent so only add an additional tablespoon or two until you reach your desired strength.
I find this drink perfectly balanced in sugar and tart fruity flavor but if you would like it sweeter you can add more sugar. Start with an additional ⅛ to ¼ cup of sugar and add more to taste as needed.
I know many people who also like to add cinnamon to this drink. Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or one or two cinnamon sticks when you add the dried flowers. Let it steep with the Rosa de Jamaica then enjoy.
Add sliced fruit for an extra special twist. Try sliced kiwi, oranges, apples or toss in a handful of fresh blueberries, raspberries or grapes. This is especially nice for a special occasion or holiday. Add cranberries on Thanksgiving, watermelon in the summer and strawberries for Valentine’s day. Try sliced citrus for a birthday or baby shower.
You can also enjoy it hot. Just place a tablespoon (more or less to taste) of Rosa de Jamaica into a mug and add hot water for a steaming cup of soothing Rosa de Jamaica tea. This is perfect for chilly weather.
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