Agua Fresca: Our Jamaica Recipe That's Perfect for Summer

It's finally officially summer and I couldn't be more grateful! Growing up in the midwest and having a July birthday, all of my best memories were in summer. I would venture to guess that it's also when my earliest signs of entrepreneurism started to show. I may have had a lemonade stand or two and I still maintain that there are few things that feel better than a cold, iced beverage on a hot, humid midwest summer day.

This Aqua Fresca is one of my favorites and carries with it as many sweet (no pun intended) memories as lemonade does. Jamaica is made with hibiscus flowers and is a common agua fresca found alongside horchata and tamarind. This recipe comes from Brittany De Boer Voss (you may have seen her tacos al pastor or tortellini soup recipes) whose mother first introduced me to this refreshing drink in Honduras.

I will certainly be making this all summer long and I hope that by sharing this recipe, you can make it an integral part of your summer memories too! Enjoy and cheers to it finally being summer!

2 cups dried hibiscus flowers

½ cup -1 cup sugar 

zest and juice of three limes

zest and juice of two oranges

2 tbs peeled and grated ginger

8 cups of water

1. Place hibiscus flowers, ginger, lime and orange zest and juice into a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil.

2. Once boiling, stir in sugar until dissolved. This is to your personal taste: if you prefer sweet tea, add more. If you like a more tart flavor, add less.

3. Once sugar has dissolved, turn off heat and allow it to steep for 15 minutes.

4. Use a slotted spoon to remove all the flowers, then pour tea through a mesh strainer into a pitcher. Place in refrigerator and allow to cool.

5. Serve over ice with a slice of orange and lime.


by Joelle McNamara



Joelle McNamara is the Founder and CEO of Badala. A free spirit, if she's not working or spending time with her sweet family, she'll be found traveling, guzzling coffee, making something, or worshipping her heart out at her church. Her adventures can be followed at @joellemcnamara.

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