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Hibiscus Flower Concentrate, Water And Variations

The most common use of jamaica flowers is to make a concentrate. Some cooks add lime juice; some don't. I do, as it makes the tart flavor shine even more. This concentrate can be used to make flavored water, hot tea, popsicles, shaved ice or jello, among other things.

Hibiscus Flower Concentrate (Concentrado De Jamaica)

Makes about 5 cups concentrate

8 cups water

2 cups (3 ounces) dried hibiscus/jamaica flowers

1-1/2 cups sugar, or to taste

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

In a 6- or 8-quart saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add flowers, stir and simmer over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool a bit.

Strain mixture into a large container (with a lid to cover later), and add the sugar and lime juice. Stir until well-dissolved.

Once the concentrate has cooled, cover well and refrigerate. It will keep in the refrigerator for months.

Agua De Jamaica (Hibiscus Flower Water)

Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 cups concentrate

6 to 8 cups water

Ice cubes

Dilute each cup of the concentrate with 3 to 4 cups water. Serve over ice cubes, or refrigerate until very cold.

For Hibiscus Flower Tea

Dilute 1/3 to 1/4 cup concentrate with 2/3 or 3/4 cup of water.

Hibiscus Flower Popsicles

For 2 cups concentrate, add 4 cups water and add 1/4 cup more sugar. Stir well, pour into popsicle molds and place in the freezer. This amount will make 24 2-ounce popsicles and will take 4 to 5 hours to freeze.

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