Simple syrup is a bar staple and an easy way…
Jamaica, or hibiscus, is my favorite agua fresca to order when I’m out eating Mexican food. The agua fresca starts with a sweet, dark pink syrup that is made from dried hibiscus flowers and sugar. The syrup is diluted with water to make the agua fresca that I enjoy with my street corn, but in its undiluted state, it can also be used to make some excellent Jamaica Margaritas. The margaritas are built with jamaica syrup, cointreau and fresh lime juice. You can taste the floral, sweet jamaica and the tart lime, which makes the drink very refreshing. I typically use tequila blanco or reposado for this recipe because I like to keep as much of the jamaica color in the drink as possible. I always rim the glass of this drink with spiced salt, made with equal parts Tajin and salt, to contrast with the sweet flavor of the margarita. It’s a summertime favorite – even if you’re not serving it with Mexican food.
2 oz. Tequila
1 oz Cointreau
2 oz. Jamaica Syrup*
1 oz. Lime Juice
First, rim a glass with the mixture of equal parts Kosher salt and Tajin. Fill the glass with ice and set it aside. Next, pour all of the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a lime.
1 1/2 quarts Water
2 cups Dried Jamaica/Hibiscus Flowers
1 1/4 cups Sugar
Bring the water to a boil in a stainless steel or enameled pot. When the water starts to boil add the jamaica flowers and sugar. Let the mix boil for about a minute or until all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cover for about an hour. After an hour strain out the jamaica and stir in three cups of water.