August 24, 2013

Recipe 28: Jamaica Sunrise

So some caveats on this recipe before I begin:

This has nothing to do with the island of Jamaica, sorry.
This is not to be confused with the Jamaican Sunrise cocktail, sorry.
It's a soda, so it's not necessarily for breakfast, sorry.

If you've ever frequented a tacqueria, particularly a mom-and-pop type, you've likely been greeted by a deep red agua fresca that's labeled with the word "Jamaica".  I'm not sure of the origins, but I know it's tasty.  It's fruity; bearing a slight resemblance to tamarind with a subtle, ever-present floral note.  However, it's made from the bright red hibiscus flower.  Yeah, you know, the stereotypical tropical flower that adorns everything from tahitian dancers to board shorts.

While a straight up Jamaica recipe is a great candidate for carbonation on its own, I wanted to add a little something extra.  I don't know how I settled on adding orange, but doesn't that sound like the perfect breakfast drink?  A nice glass of orange juice with some deep red hibiscus tea added for color cheery floral notes.  And so came "Jamaica" from the mexican name for the hibiscus tea and "Sunrise" from the fact that orange juice is just inexplicably tied to breakfast.

1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 cups sugar
zest and juice from 1 orange
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1 tbsp lemon juice.
carbonated water to top up to 1 gallon.

Steep the flowers, ginger, and orange zest in about 1 cup of near boiling water, remove from heat and allow to steep for about 30 min.
Strain to remove all the particulates.
Add the sugar and bring to a boil to dissolve completely.
Add the juices and simmer for an additional five minutes.
Allow the syrup to cool and then add to carbonated water by the glass or into bottles.

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