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+ servings
A tall clear glass of agua de Jamaica is front of a pitcher of Jamaica which is on a wooden board

Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Iced Tea)

Dilute this concentrate with as much or as little ice-water as you want.
Course Drinks, Libations
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword iced tea, jamaica
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
steeping time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 73kcal


  • 12 ounces dried hibiscus flowers rinsed in cold water
  • 2 3" cinnamon sticks
  • 1 gallon cold water
  • 2 cups raw sugar
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 4 cups ice plus more to serve


Steep the Jamaica Leaves

  • Place the dried jamaica into a colander and give the leaves a quick rinse under cold water to remove any dirt or dust.
  • Fill a large pot with a gallon of distilled (or filtered) water. Add the jamaica leaves and cinnamon sticks to the water. 
    Bring the water up to a boil, then turn the heat off and allow the leaves to steep in the hot water for 20 minutes. 

Make the Simple Syrup

  • In a smaller pot, combine the raw sugar with the second quantity of water. Stir together before bringing the mixture to a boil over med-high heat.
    Stir the syrup while it comes to a boil to encourage the sugar crystals to dissolve. 
  • Once the simple syrup reaches a boil, remove the pot from the stove and allow it to cool completely.
    You can make the simple syrup up to a week in advance and just store it in the fridge to use as needed.

Finish the Jamaica

  • After your tea leaves have steeped long enough, pour the agua de jamaica through an old kitchen towel that's been placed inside a strainer.
    Twist the jamaica in the towel to wring out the excess jamaica water. 
  • Transfer the agua de jamaica to a large pitcher and allow it to cool completely, or into food storage bags* for freezing. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the pitcher into the refrigerator.
    The agua de jamaica is a now concentrated drink base which needs to be diluted with ice and/or water.
  • The amount of simple syrup you add to your tea may vary according to how sweet (or not) you like your iced tea.
    Sweeten the pitcher of jamaica with a 1/2 cup (for less sweet tea) or the entire amount of simple syrup for very sweet tea. Sweetening the tea prior to adding the ice will make it easier to stir the jamaica without making a mess, but you may need to adjust it after diluting it.
  • Once you've sweetened to taste add 1-2 tablespoons of the freshly squeezed lime juice to brighten up the flavor of the tea. Add more lime juice if you want a tart agua de jamaica.
  • Add 4 cups of ice to the jamaica and you're ready to serve! 
    Be sure to serve your agua de jamaica in glasses filled with even more ice. Sip and enjoy.
  • Store your agua de jamaica in a glass or plastic pitcher in the fridge for a week to a week and a half.


This recipe makes 1 gallon of agua de jamaica concentrate. Divide the recipe in half to make less or freeze half of it. 
To freeze:
Pour the cooled jamaica concentrate into freezer bags (double the bags to protect the freezer against spills) and freeze lying flat.
When you're ready to use the jamaica, break up the frozen block of concentrate a put it into a pitcher, diluting it with equal parts ice-water. 


Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg