06.04.2013 - 08.04.2013
It is 95* every day in Cuernavaca. Bet you wish you’d come here for spring break instead of going to Florida, right? Unfortunately you can’t run around in your bathing suit or cut-offs here like you can in Florida, so you have to find a pool to jump in or a frozen/iced/icey beverage to lower your body temperature. Most people aren’t fortunate enough to be able to drink a nice cold beer during their work day, and too many iced espressos will have you shaking out of your office chair. So I’ve invented a little twist on a typical Mexican drink to help you cool off under the hot sun.
Agua de jamaica (pronounced huh-MY-kuh), or Hibiscus water, is one of the many flavors of “water” that you’ll see lined up at a juice stand. It is commonly served as one of the drink options at a comida corrida (typical Mexican restaurant), and you feel cooler just seeing the waiter set a pitcher of it on your table. Agua de jamaica is proven to lower high blood pressure, and many people drink it in hot tea form for its vitamin C and minerals. For me, it’s the midday beverage, after my morning coffee and before my late afternoon beer (on the weekends, Mom).
There are several different ways to make the drink, and here’s Casa HOY’s spin on this tasty classic:
6 cups of water
2 cups of dried Hibiscus petals
White sugar to taste (I used ½ cup)
10-15 fresh mint leaves
Powdered ginger to taste (I used 1 TBS) (a Jamaican touch, not Mexican)
Cold water to fill up the rest of the pitcher
Boil 6 cups of water. Once water is boiling, add hibiscus petals and sugar. Turn off the heat, sprinkle in powdered ginger and cover pot. Allow the mixture to steep for 30-45 minutes. Once cooled, strain liquid through a colander into a pitcher. Add extra cold water to fill up the pitcher.
When you’re ready to serve the agua de jamaica, fill up your glass halfway with ice. Pour your drink, and garnish with 4-5 mint leaves. Find yourself a shady place outside and sip that heat away.