"Agua de Jamaica" is a drink from the Caribbean and Central America. It is a tea made with the flowers of the vinaigrette. The drink is quite refreshing when served cold and relaxing when served hot, but it is usually served cold.
The vinegar is widely used in herbal remedies. Jamaica Water is known in Central America as "cool water", which means a cheap drink. There is evidence that vinaigrette lowers blood pressure, in part because of its somewhat diuretic properties. This drink also has a beautiful deep red color that is pleasing to the eye.
To make 2 l of water from Jamaica:
- 1/2 cup of dried vinaigrette flowers ("Flor de Jamaica" cups);
- Water (8 cups);
- Sugar (approx. 1/2 cup, or to taste);
- OPTIONAL: rum, ginger, well-sliced lime for garnish.
Step 1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil
Step 2. Add 1/2 cup of Jamaica Flower and 1/2 cup of sugar
If adding ginger, add it to the mixture at this stage, to taste.
Step 3. Bring the mixture to a boil for approximately 2 minutes, stirring occasionally
Step 4. Cover and allow to steep for approximately 10 minutes
Step 5. Strain this infusion into a separate container
Add the remaining 4 cups of ice water and mix well. If adding rum, mix it in this step.
Step 6. To serve immediately, pour over ice
If not, let it cool in the fridge until it's time to serve.
Step 7. Enjoy your cultural drink
- "Flor de Jamaica" is the name given in Central America to cups of vinaigrette flowers. It might just be "Jamaica" in most Mexican markets. "Sorrel", "saril" and "roselle" are some of the different names.
- As mentioned above, this drink is usually served chilled. If this recipe is served hot, sugar can sometimes overshadow the natural acidity of the vinaigrette, so sweeten to taste.
- Because they are Spanish words, Jamaica in "Agua de Jamaica" is pronounced "rá-MAIQ-a".