Flor de Jamaica

By Aarti Virani

Published on August 10, 2009

Agua de jamaica, a refreshing drink popular on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border (click here for recipe), gets its deep red color and tangy, floral flavor from the flower of a common garden plant: hibiscus. Called jamaica (pronounced ha-MY-kuh) in Spanish, the shrubby plant thrives in subtropical climates. Its flowers are often dried and boiled in sugar water to make a syrup that's used in drinks, jams, and even Red Zinger tea. Dried hibiscus flowers are usually sold as "flor de jamaica" in Latin American markets and in health food stores.

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.