Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Flower Drink)

Two of my favorite warm weather drinks, which are enjoyed all across the Caribbean, are iced “Bush Tea” and Jamaica drink. In the US Virgin Islands, bush tea is any combination of local herbs, but in my experience, almost always is made mainly of lemongrass. Jamaica, or hibiscus, flowers also make a tart tea that is so delicious (and that most people have probably had before if they’ve had any “zinger” iced teas). Unfortunately, both lemongrass and hibiscus can possibly cause uterine contractions, and so I’ve avoided them in tea/herbal form during pregnancy.

Until now! My doula let us know that since I’m 40 weeks, hibiscus could be a safe way to possibly induce labor. I’m skeptical, but who cares–I love it!

I like this adapted recipe, but you could definitely add less sugar if you’d like. Taste and sweeten as you like. The ginger adds a really nice Caribbean twist. And happy early Mother’s Day everyone!

Jamaica Drink

Agua de Jamaica

adapted from Hibiscus Punch,

  • 12 C. boiling water
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 C. dried Jamaica flowers (also known as hibiscus or flor de Jamaica)
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime

Pour boiling water over ginger, Jamaica flowers, and sugar, and stir until sugar has dissolved. Let steep 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large, heat-resistant bowl or pot. Stir in lime juice and set aside to cool. Refrigerate until ready to use. Serve over ice.

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