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Hibiscus Agua Fresca

3 days ago 15

Democracy Dies in Darkness

clock40 minscourseBeverage

By Lynne Sampson

This rose-colored take on iced tea — actually more like an adult version of Kool-Aid — is made by steeping hibiscus flowers or tea in hot water.

Make ahead: The agua fresca needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Storage: Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Where to buy: Hibiscus flowers can be found in some natural food stores, Mexican grocery stores and online.

From food writer Lynne Sampson, originally published in The Post in 2003.


measuring cup

Servings: 8 (makes about 8 cups)

  • 1/2 cup (3/4 ounce) dried hibiscus flowers or 6 bags hibiscus tea
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more to taste
  • Ice
  • Cold filtered water, as needed


Time Icon Active: 10 mins| Total: 40 mins, plus at least 2 hours to chill

  1. Step 1

    In a heatproof bowl or liquid measuring cup, cover the hibiscus flowers with the boiling water and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-quart pitcher; discard or compost the hibiscus.

  2. Step 2

    Add the sugar to the hibiscus infusion and stir until dissolved. Fill the pitcher two-thirds full with ice and top it off with cold water. Taste, and if desired, add more sugar as needed. Refrigerate until chilled through, at least 2 hours.

  3. Step 3

    When ready to serve, divide the agua fresca among ice-filled tall glasses.


Granulated sugar >> honey or agave.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (1 cup)

  • Calories


  • Fat

    0 g

  • Saturated Fat

    0 g

  • Carbohydrates

    12 g

  • Sodium

    3 mg

  • Cholesterol

    0 mg

  • Protein

    0 g

  • Fiber

    0 g

  • Sugar

    12 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From food writer Lynne Sampson, originally published in The Post in 2003.

Tested by Lisa Cherkasky.

Published July 9, 2024

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