Roselle Water or Jamaica Agua Fresca

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Roselle Water or Jamaica Agua Fresca

Roselle Water or Jamaica Agua Fresca

This is a beverage from my childhood, brings happy thoughts when I remember arriving home from school and grabbing a full glass of this refreshing drink, salud!

But you might be wondering what is Roselle, it is a bush that probably you have growing in your garden named “hibiscus” (Hibiscus Sabdariffa).

Here the ingredients to prepare this natural and delicious infusion.

Jamaica or Hibiscus Flower

Jamaica or Hibiscus Flower


  • 15 Roselle calyces
  • 1 ½ cups of boiling water
  • 1 liter of iced water
  • Crushed Ice
  • Agave nectar (could be replaced with sugar on the raw, sugar or Splenda)

Preparation time: 15 minutes. Serves 6-8 glasses. Approximate cost per person $0.50 depending ingredients market price. Check for local market availability. You will need a tea pot with an infuser, a pitcher, a tall spoon for stirring and nice tall glasses for serving.

Bring to boil 1 ½ cups of water, place the calyces in the infuser and add the boiling water, steep until water becomes a deep red color. Place the iced water in the pitcher and add agave nectar, sugar or sugar substitute to sweeten the drink, add the Roselle water concentrate stir and serve in a glass with crushed ice.

Roselle Water Hibiscus Sabdariffa Agua de Jamaica

Agua de Jamaica

The calyces are sold dried and used for preparing this lemonade-like beverage, the taste is very close to cranberry juice and it is still one of the most popular summer drinks of Mexico while in Egypt is drank hot during the winter months. Other uses of Roselle are to prepare syrups for cocktails like Pink Margarita, desserts and natural food preservatives.

Roselle calyces can be purchased in the United States in supermarkets that carry Hispanic products or in organic tea houses. Roselle has been found to be high in calcium, niacin, riboflavin and iron and also having the property of being a diuretic so prior drinking consult with your physician as could counteract with your medications.


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Author:Chef Adriana Martin

Adriana Martin is a Latina writer born in Mexico who is specialized in recipe development using fresh and seasonal ingredients. The inspiration behind her recipes is based on the culinary culture of Mexico and influenced by the Mediterranean cuisine and grilling which is one of her passions. Adriana likes to read about the latest trends in cuisine, learn about new cultures, travel the world discovering new ingredients and sharing with famous chefs. She is a wife, friend, step mom, grandmother and animal lover.

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  • Lyn @LovelyPantry

    Hi Adriana!! I just had to comment…I love that cultures can be so similar!!! In Jamaica we call this drink Sorrel. We add lots of spices to it (and Rum, but that is optional). We usually have lots of it around Christmas but the dried sepals are available all year round. There is also a white sorrel that I have yet to try. I quite like the name Jamaica Agua Fresca!!! Sounds good!

    • Adriana

      This is so great Lyn many thanks for your support and for sharing your culture with me!

  • Lyn @LovelyPantry

    You’re welcome! I enjoy learning from you too!!