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Agua di Jamaica (Iced Hibiscus)

Enjoyed around the world, this wonderful hot-weather beverage is also known as karkadι or sorrel, among other names.  This is one of the best summertime drinks ever - tart, refreshing, energizing, and some claim that it helps the body deal with heat and humidity more efficiently. Very tart, very fruity, full of vitamins, and caffeine-free but still quite invigorating.

Important!

Ingredients

Tools

Instructions

  1. In the large pot, bring the water to a full rolling boil.
  2. Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved (when you can't see it any more).
  3. Rinse the hibiscus with warm water for 10-15 seconds, then add to the boiling water.
  4. Stir the hibiscus into the water and continue stirring, vigorously, for 10 full minutes without stopping. Don't just stir in a circle, you're trying to fully infuse the flowers, so figure-8 and complicated patterns are good.
  5. After 10 minutes of stirring, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let it rest undisturbed for 2 hours.
  6. Uncover, and stir the tisane thoroughly for 2 minutes.
  7. Using a second pot or container, and a fine strainer, thoroughly strain the tisane to remove all the flowers. (This step can be quite difficult - carefully handling several quarts of hot hibiscus can be dangerous. It is easiest to scoop out the tisane using a smaller vessel and pouring through the strainer into another pot, rather than trying to pour the whole large pot through the strainer.)
  8. Store your agua di jamaica in a glass vessel and keep refrigerated. When serving, fill one's glass halfway with ice - the tisane is very strong and the melting ice will dilute it properly. Enjoy!