Monday, August 4, 2014

Jamaica (The Drink Not The Island)

When I lived in Nicaragua, I discovered the most delicious drink.  It was called jamaica and it was delicious.  Embarrassingly enough it was not until much later that I discovered that the tasty drink was made from the hibiscus flower.

During my three years in California, I discovered that you could order the deep red drink at just about every Mexican restaurant.  At this point, I became a connoisseur.  I knew which eateries added too much sugar, which were too bitter and which were just right.

Outside of California, jamaica is hard to find.  Two years ago, Jerry found some jamaica leaves in the Mexican section of our store here in Utah.  Thinking that it would be hard to make I procrastinated the experiment.  But now we are faced with the prospect of consuming our entire food storage.  I hunkered down and tried it out.  Turns out it's as easy as brewing a giant pot of herbal tea.

I wanted to get the proportions right so I followed this recipe

The hibiscus petals were dry and brittle at first.  I boiled water, turned the heat off, threw the petals in and covered it for about twenty minutes.

The re-hydrated petals expanded and were rubbery after I strained them.

This is where things started to get a little dicey.  I didn't have a pitcher I could strain the drink into and it turns out I didn't have a pitcher large enough for all the juice.  So I improvised and risked permanently staining my clothes.

And yes that is a full cup of sugar.  I never said this was healthy.

After straining I added cold water.  Instead of a pitcher, I used my free mug from my not-so-free hospital stay.  Turns out it still has some use.

After a couple hours of refrigeration, we enjoyed it with our homemade burgers.  Yes, it would have been better with some tacos, but from-scratch hamburgers have been a summer favorite.   You can see that we eat them on only the healthiest and most beautiful whole wheat buns.

And so as I sit here this morning writing and sipping my favorite Mexican drink, I am pleased to report that it was a success.  Only my yellow bowl was permanently stained.  I may add a bit more sugar next time, but otherwise I discovered a new easy way to have what I love.

And because this guy is the real reason anyone reads my blog.  He's really got the hand of lifting his head up lately. 

1 comment:

Joe and Joanne said...

Looks yummy! Well, I have to admit I got a little excited to read you're faced with the prospect of having to eat all your food storage in the hope it means you're moving back this direction? ;) It would be great to see you again and to meet little Joshua!