Hibiscus flowers are the pretty little dried purple flowers that contribute the striking color in the popular Mexican beverage agua de Jamaica (aka hibiscus tea). When steeped in water, hibiscus flowers lend a cranberry-like tartness that's often tempered with a bit of sugar for a refreshingly sweet (but not too sweet) summer drink. I combined the deep purple hibiscus tea with lemonade for a tangy twist.

Dried hibiscus flowers.
Dried hibiscus flowers, once steeped to extract their cranberry-like flavor, are edible like dried fruit.
Danielle DeSiato


  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 5 lemons)
  • 1 bunch mint (for garnish)


You can find hibiscus flowers at specialty stores, some Whole Foods, and on amazon.com. They're dried and sold in bags or plastic containers.


  1. Bring 4 cups water and hibiscus flowers to boil in medium pot over high heat. As soon as the mixture boils, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour.
  2. Strain hibiscus infusion into a large pitcher. (Hibiscus flowers can be saved. They're edible and can be kept refrigerated and snacked on like dried fruit.)
  3. Stir sugar into hibiscus infusion until it is dissolved, then stir in lemon juice and remaining 2 cups water.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over ice and garnish with mint sprigs.