Iced Hibiscus Tea (Agua de Jamaica)

5 from 3 votes

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My hibiscus iced tea is an easy-to-make, refreshingly fruity beverage. Perfect for hot summer days, it features the tart, cooling flavors of hibiscus and lime and the soothing sweetness of cinnamon and sugar.

a tall glass of hibiscus iced tea with ice and a lime slice as a garnish with dried hibiscus flowers on counter

This Mexican-inspired recipe for hibiscus iced tea is fruity, floral, and flavorful. Also called agua de Jamaica or Jamaica drink, this tropical treat is sweet, sour, and mildly spiced. 

Hibiscus iced tea is simple to prepare, requiring only 5 minutes of prep work and a total of 5 ingredients. And yet, it is fancy enough to impress anyone you make it for. 

This is one of my favorite drinks to enjoy poolside when the weather gets really hot. Plus, it makes a great alcohol-free beverage option for potlucks and barbecues. Feel free to double the recipe if you are having a big party!

closeup: a tall glass of agua de jamaica with ice and a lime slice as a garnish

For more tasty drink recipes, check out my Brazilian Lemonade (Limonada), Horchata Recipe, or this Champurrado (Chocolate Atole).

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Hibiscus – The star of the show, hibiscus has a tart, puckering flavor similar to that of fresh cranberry. You can sometimes find the dried flowers in the tea section at the supermarket. Otherwise, you can check your local Mexican market, herb shop, or with an online retailer. Ideally you want dried flowers that are soft and pliable, as they are the freshest. 
  • Cinnamon – Accentuates the natural sweetness in the hibiscus and lime with a gentle, harmonizing warmth. If a cinnamon stick isn’t available, you can substitute ½ teaspoon of powdered spice. 
  • Lime – Brightens up the Jamaica drink with a blast of citrus sunshine. 
  • Sugar – Sweetens the tea while smoothing over some of the sharper flavors in the drink. This recipe is rather sweet, so feel free to add more or less sugar depending on your tastes. If desired, you can try using honey or agave syrup instead. 
  • Water – Although we start out with 2 quarts of water, don’t be surprised if you only end up with a quart and a half of hibiscus iced tea. The hibiscus flowers will absorb a surprising amount of liquid.
a tall glass of agua de jamaica with ice and a lime slice garnish with dried hibiscus flowers on counter

Tip From Kevin

Things to Note About Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a flowering plant that flourishes in warm, tropical climates the world over. Several varieties exist and have been used in food and medicine for centuries. 

The most common color of hibiscus is the deep, luscious red that we see in this hibiscus iced tea. However, the petals can be rose, yellow, or even beige. While there are slight variances in flavor, all varieties of hibiscus impart the same tantalizing tartness.

a tall glass of jamaica drink with ice and a lime slice as a garnish with dried hibiscus flowers on counter

How to Make Hibiscus Iced Tea

  1. Make Cinnamon Syrup. Add the water, sugar, and cinnamon stick to a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir to ensure all the sugar is dissolved, then remove the pot from heat. 
  2. Submerge & Steep. Toss the hibiscus flowers into the warm liquid, pressing down with a spoon to submerge. Steep for a minimum of 30 minutes and no longer than 2 hours. Past that, the flavor will be negatively affected. 
  3. Strain & Serve. Pour the drink mixture through a sieve, removing any debris and setting you up for spicy, fruity success. Serve with a fresh squeeze of lime and enjoy!
a tall glass of hibiscus iced tea garnished with a lime slice with dried hibiscus flowers on counter

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is hibiscus iced tea supposed to taste like?

Hibiscus iced tea is a cold, refreshingly fruity beverage with a uniquely tropical twist. 

The hibiscus flowers and lime juice deliver a delightful tartness reminiscent of cranberries and is highlighted by the warmth of the cinnamon and the sweetness of the sugar. Put it all together and you end up with a delicious beverage that is sweet, sour, and cooling with a hint of spiciness.

Can you drink agua de Jamaica every day?

Yes, drinking agua de Jamaica every day is safe for most people. In fact, it has a surprisingly nourishing beverage.

In addition to being ridiculously delicious, hibiscus iced tea is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit immune, cardiovascular, liver, and even reproductive health. 

However, not everyone should drink agua de Jamaica every day. For example, it is so effective at lowering blood pressure that it could cause issues for anyone who struggles with low blood pressure. Women who are pregnant (or trying to be) should probably avoid it as well, due to its effects on hormone balance.

Why is it called Jamaica drink?

Mexican hibiscus iced tea is known as Jamaica drink because that is where the plant used in the first recipes in the region came from. 

The flowering plant arrived in Mexico from the neighboring island of Jamaica during colonial times. It quickly became popular, inspiring the creation of this agua de Jamaica and many other tasty tropical recipes.

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Iced Hibiscus Tea (Agua de Jamaica)

5 from 3 votes
Hibiscus iced tea is a sweet and refreshing Mexican-inspired drink made with hibiscus flowers, fresh lime, cinnamon, and sugar.
Servings: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes


  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers rinsed
  • 2 limes


  • In a large pot add the water, sugar and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and then remove from heat.
  • Add hibiscus flowers, gently pushing down to submerge the flowers with a spoon. Steep the tea for 30 minutes, but no longer than 2 hours (it will get bitter).
  • Strain hibiscus flowers and cinnamon stick from tea into in a pitcher to cool. Refrigerate your Agua de Jamaica and serve over ice with a squeeze of lime.


Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 194IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 0.3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): hibiscus iced tea agua de Jamaica


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 5 stars
    Wanted you to know I made this for a party this past weekend and dipped the glass rims in your chamoy sauce then rolled it in your tajin seasoning for a triple threat winner!

      1. 5 stars
        This is a winner! What a great additon to my summer. There’s something about this ice tea that hits the satisfying buttton and its so refreshing to drink daily.. Thanks