The first time I had agua de jamaica (pronounced hah-MY-kah) in Mexico, I was hooked. It was a vibrant deep red-purple, always made from scratch and tastes divinely tart and fruity.
A few things I learned while living in Mexico...
Always kiss people on the cheek upon greeting and parting ways. They love love. Arrive late to all things, it is basically expected. The best tacos of your life are eaten on the street at 4 am after the bar. Green salsa may be hotter than red salsa. But red salsa may be hotter than green salsa. Depends on the place. Taste them before adding to your food. Or be wild and don't. When you ask for directions, chances are they don't know. But they will gladly make something up and send you wherever sounds right. (This might be part of why everyone's always late). Popsicles aka paletas are made with fresh fruit and there are shops devoted to just these. Agua de Jamaica with lime, always. Watermelon juice with lime. Tequila with lime. Not lemon. Lemons don't even grow in Mexico and if you try and ask for one, you will get lime. And you will like it, dammit. Tacos with lime. Popcorn with lime. (For real–squeeze on some lime, pinch of salt + hot sauce, preferably Valentina). Meat with lime. Fruit with lime. Lime with lime. Everything with lime! Forever and ever, and we all live happily ever after.
These popsicles are an ode to two of my favourite aguas frescas from Mexico–Agua de Jamaica (hibiscus) and Agua de Sandia (watermelon). I made them not too sweet to focus on the freshness of the watermelon alongside with the tartness of hibiscus.
Shopping Note: You can find dried hibiscus flowers at Latin grocery stores (aka flor de jamaica) or Caribbean shops (aka sorrel).
Is it weird that I like how these photos remind me of blood spatter patterns and the intro to Dexter?
Bonus–besides being tasty, watermelon is so good for you guys! Like crazy good. Check out these 25 science-backed health benefits of watermelon! Hibiscus also has healing properties. It is helpful for the heart, digestive system and contains vitamin C. Also, these popsicles turn your tongue bright red! Healthy and fun. You're welcome.
WATERMELON HIBISCUS LIME POPSICLES
t h e m a g i c
i n s p i r a t i o n : Mexican aguas frescas + paletas
f e e l s : fresh, cool, tart + sweet
e a t w i t h : fresh fruit juices, sparkling water, horchata, margaritas + friends
m i g h t l i k e i f y o u ' r e i n t o : heat waves, sunny days, soothing sore throats, garnets + rubies, summer vacation, pool lounging, slip and slides
t h e s c i e n c e
makes approximately 8 popsicles
i n g r e d i e n t s :
- 1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 3/4 cup water
- 10 mint leaves
- 2 tbsp honey or agave
- 5 cups cubed watermelon (approximately 1/2 a small watermelon)
- 2 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
m e t h o d :
- In a medium saucepan add the water and hibiscus flowers and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat, add mint leaves and honey and stir until dissolved. Let mixture sit for 20-30 minutes to steep.
- Meanwhile, blend watermelon in a blender until smooth. Strain watermelon through cheesecloth so that only the juice remains.
- Pour hibiscus mixture through a strainer to remove all the flower and mint leaves. Pour watermelon juice into hibiscus mixture. Add lime juice and stir.
- Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.