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Agua de Jamaica is a traditional Mexican drink made with dried hibiscus flowers. It’s typically served over ice and therefore perfect for the summer.

agua de jamaica served over ice in glasses

What is Agua de Jamaica

Hibiscus Iced Tea, which is the name for Agua de Jamaica in English, is an authentic sweet Mexican drink with a slightly sour taste coming from the hibiscus flowers.

It’s made with dried hibiscus flowers, also known as Flor de Jamaica, water, and sugar. A very easy yet delicious summer drink recipe which is recognizable due to its unique, vibrant red color. Almost every local Mexican restaurant makes this Jamaica drink fresh and serves it over ice – that’s one more reason I love this drink.

hibiscus iced tea served with ice and a straw

Agua Frescas – Authentic Mexican Drinks

Everybody who has ever visited Mexico knows that Agua Frescas are one of the most authentic Mexican recipes. You can find them at every corner, and they are always made and served the same way with a lot of sugar over ice.

The most popular ones are:

  • Agua de Jamaica – Hibiscus Water → made with dried hibiscus flowers
  • Agua de Horchata – Rice Water → made with rice and cinnamon
  • Agua de Sandia – Watermelon Water →made with fresh watermelon
  • Agua de Tamarindo – Tamarind Water → made with fresh or dried tamarind pods

Hibiscus Iced Tea Recipe

This sweet summer drink is very comparable to iced tea made with hibiscus tea bags, but it’s not entirely the same. To achieve the authentic Agua de Jamaica taste, it’s essential to use loose and whole dried hibiscus flowers (see in the picture below), and not hibiscus tea bags.

The quality of entire flowers is different, better, and makes up for a super intense and colorful drink.

How to make Agua de Jamaica

  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Add the dried hibiscus flowers and let them steep for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the flowers by pouring the tea through a sieve.
how to make agua de jamaica step 1
  • Stir in the sugar.
  • Let it cool on your countertop and serve over ice. It can be stored for up to a few days in your fridge.
how to make agua de jamaica step 2

Recipe Variations:

  • The original recipe, as I am used to drinking it in Mexico, calls for way more sugar than I suggest adding to this iced tea. Feel free to double the amount of sugar for a very sweet iced tea.
  • Dilute the tea with cold water for a less intense flavor.
  • Serve it with lime juice or lime wedges.
  • Enjoy the drink warm as a hot comfort tea.
mexican jamaica drink served in 3 glasses over ice on a marble table

More Authentic Mexican Recipes:

Summer Drink Recipes you might also like:


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📖 Recipe

agua de jamaica served over ice in glasses

Agua de Jamaica | Hibiscus Iced Tea

Agua de Jamaica is a traditional Mexican drink made with dried hibiscus flowers. It’s typically served over ice and therefore perfect for the summer.
Author : Aline Cueni
5 from 1 vote

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :5 minutes
Cooling Time :1 hour
Total Time :20 minutes
Servings : 4
Calories : 65kcal


  • 4 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup (20g) dried hibiscus flowers Flor de Jamaica
  • ¼ cup sugar ½ cup if you like it extra sweet


  • Pour the boiling water over the dried hibiscus flowers and let it steep for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the tea through a sieve and discard the flowers. Stir in the sugar and let the tea cool down. 
  • Store the Agua de Jamaica in the fridge and serve chilled over ice. 


  • Double the amount of sugar for a very sweet iced tea or make the recipe entirely without sugar for a healthy yet tasty summer drink.


Calories: 65kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 10mg | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.5mg

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  1. I tried growing Thai Roselle in my garden last year. It needs a long growing season and was just starting to flower at the end of the season, but I was still able to harvest and dry the leaves. Even they make a pretty tasty tea!

    1. This sounds great Michelle. To grow it by yourself and then make something delicious out of it ?