Hibiscus Agua Fresca with Chia

[Photographs: Autumn Giles]

Known as Agua de Flor de Jamaica or "hibiscus agua fresca" in the Americas, this drink is super-tart and the color is seriously stunning.

Look for dried, loose-leaf hibiscus, also called flor de jamaica, to make this naturally vibrant agua fresca, adapted from Paletas by Fany Gerson.

About the Author: Autumn Giles is a writer in Queens, NY. You can see her work on Autumn Makes & Does, listen to her talk on the Alphabet Soup Podcast, and talk at her on twitter.

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Hibiscus Agua Fresca with Chia

About This Recipe

Yield:makes enough agua fresca for 8 drinks
Active time:10 minutes
Total time:5 hours
Special equipment:fine mesh strainer
This recipe appears in: 3 Delicious Aguas Frescas To Make At Home


  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup (about 35 grams) dried hibiscus flowers
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup hibiscus agua fresca
  • Ice


  1. 1

    Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. While water heats, rinse the hibiscus briefly in a fine mesh strainer to remove any dirt or debris. When the water boils, remove from heat, add hibiscus, cover, and let steep for ten minutes. After ten minutes, strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer set in a 1-quart liquid measure, pressing the solids to extract their liquid. Add additional water so that the liquid measures 2 cups again. Stir in three tablespoons of sugar, or more to taste, and refrigerate until completely cool.

  2. 2

    To serve: Put one teaspoon chia seeds in the bottom of a small glass. Add 1/4 cup of hibiscus agua fresca and stir to combine. Allow to sit for 15 minutes at room temperature. Top with ice to fill and serve with a small spoon or straw.


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