begin when the first birds of morning are lifting the roof of dawn...
bringing two cups of pure water to a passionate boil.
turn off heat and immediately allow 1 3/4 cup of
dried hibiscus flowers to fall gently from your grateful hands.
use a favorite wooden spoon to gently submerge the floating flowers,
cover and infuse for twenty minutes while you
walk barefoot in the garden.
in a separate large pot add your sweetener...
i love the smokey tangyness of these garnet petals so use less than 1/2 cup of
blue agave nectar.
(traditionally 1 cup sweetener would be added,
adjust to your taste
you could also use honey or sugar)
place a strainer across the mouth of your large pot.
simply pour your jamaica infused water into the strainer
catching all the flowers and mixing the bright cranberry liquid with the sweetener
now boil four cups of water, once boiling pour slowly over the flowers
that are gleaming
in the strainer to release more flavor.
repeat once more with two final cups of boiling water.
use your wooden spoon to press any remaining garnet flavored
liquid from the flowers.
place the spent flowers in your compost grateful for their bright gift.
stir to mix and allow this jubilant refresco to cool.
place in a favorite pitcher, preferably transparent
so the intensity of colour shines through.
serve in large glasses over a generous stack of ice,
return to the garden with family and friends
who will smile with each delicious sip of
Agua de Jamaica!
send your guests home with handfuls of dried jamaica flowers
so this ancient mexican ritual of
summer refreshment is passed garden to garden,
friend to friend, all summer long.