Episode 106: Hibiscus Flowers or Jamaica

In Mexico, it’s not uncommon to find both food and water deliciously flavored with hibiscus flowers. Commonly known as Jamaica, it has an intensely herbal, fruity taste. This episode will show us some of the places you can buy it in the US, then share recipes that include:


14comments inEpisode 106: Hibiscus Flowers or Jamaica

  1. Brenda M.

    Jun 29

    Dear Pati,
    I’ve recently started watching your show in Canada, and thoroughly enjoy it. I must admit that using dried chilies in food preparation is new to me. Growing up in the Caribbean, hot peppers and seasoning peppers ( peppers with a very strong flavour but no heat..also referred to as pimentos).
    The Hibiscus flower is known as SORREL, and is used in a Holiday Season drink called Sorrell. It is boiled in water to which is added cinnamon sticks, dried orange peel, a few cloves and fresh ginger. The entire brew is strained and sweetened with sugar and a bit of rum, then bottled and refrigerated. It may be served with ice, or mixed with ginger ale, or one inch poured in a champagne flute and topped with white sparkling wine. The Hibiscus flower may be purchased in some gourmet stores in jars ( packed in syrup). I’ve prepared it this way once, and added one flower to each champagne flute before topping with the sparkling wine. Of course, the flower is consumed after drinking the rose -hued drink.😃
    After watching you make chocolate cookies with Hibiscus flowers, I will never discard the boiled flowers again! I’m thinking of freezing them for future use. Do you have any more Hibiscus flower recipes?
    Thanks again for your wonderful and inspiring cooking show.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 30

      Wow Brenda, you have me drooling for a Sorrell now 🙂 Thanks for sharing your recipe. I do have this one for a fish recipe with hibiscus, epazote and oregano http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/whole-fried-snapper-with-hibiscus-epazote-and-oregano/ Or how about this mole with hibiscus and pecans? Enjoy!

  2. Yadranka

    Jan 24

    I adore your show. Thank you

    1. Pati

      Jan 25

      Thank you so much, Yadranka!

  3. Virginia Downs

    Dec 08

    Dear Pati, my husband and I love to watch your show, and it always makes us so hungry! We finally found some jamaica, and I think I’ll start with jamaica water from your recipe, but I wondered if I can freeze it in my ice-cream maker. If I do that, should I dilute the concentrate? (I noticed you don’t dilute the concentrate for popsicles.) If I put a little rum in it, will it still freeze?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 10

      Hi Virginia, Thank you so much to you and your husband, both, for watching the show!! Sure, you can try freezing the jamaica water in your ice cream maker. I would dilute the concentrate to your taste – keeping in mind the flavor will be a little less strong when frozen. It will still freeze with a little rum, as long as you only add a tablespoon or two.

  4. Shirley Adams

    Aug 19

    Pati, I started watching your show earlier this year and I have to tell you, your recipes have been a hit in my home! My children enjoy many of your meals. I have to say muchas gracias for your love of Mexico through cuisine. I look forward to your future endeavors here on your website.
    From the DC-Metro Area,

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 28

      Hola Shirley,
      It is my pleasure! I pour my heart into it so I am so happy the recipes are a hit in your home. If your family is looking for anything in particular: let me know! I love researching and testing for special requests.

  5. Yunomi

    Jun 03

    While I haven’t seen every episode, this has to be my favorite, so far. I experiment with flavors on flour tortillas all the time. My favorite so far is a twist on Chinese lettuce wraps with ground pork, garlic, ginger, white pepper, celery, onion, and shitake (the dark ones) flash fried in a wok. Toppings are shredded daikon, shredded carrot, diced red bell pepper; add a sauce of soy sauce, sriracha, mirin, ginger, garlic, and sweet chili sauce reduced slowly. When making the tacos, add a squeeze of lime to each.
    I have tried to use flank as taco meat. I marinated it with onion and garlic purée, fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice, and a bit of fresh orange juice. After marinating, I dried the meat and added a rub of cumin, fresh cracked black pepper, and kosher salt. The remaining rub and marinade I reduced to a BBQ sauce I brushed on the few minutes the meat was fired. First, I grilled it over very hot real-wood charcoal to just short of char and finished in the oven (brushing on more BBQ between them). For large cuts I set the meat unevenly over the coals so it cooks from medium to rare. This way, my wife and I can have our preferred temperatures in the same cut. Maybe I didn’t marinate long enough, because the slices were still a bit tough. (Or maybe not cooked long enough?)
    Now, not only do I have a new recipe to try for tacos and fajitas, but new things with which to experiment. Maybe hibiscus water as a base for a dipping sauce to accompany fresh Vietnamese Summer Rolls? Thanks Pati for giving me yet ANOTHER ingredient to satisfy my mad-scientist tendencies.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 12

      Sounds delicious Yunomi! Keep cooking and innovating! 🙂

  6. Veronica

    Aug 18

    Thank you Pati for explaining EVERYTHING while you are cooking.
    You are a wonderful teacher of culture and cooking through your life experiences. I did not know about the edible hibiscus flowers. I’m learning from every “Pati’s Mexican Table” I watch. I have my TV set on, ‘the caption’, so I now can sing along with the jingle, and learn all the Mexican cooking terms too.
    Thank you,

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 21

      Hi Veronica,
      I’m so happy you enjoy the show, and find it helpful! I really want people to be able to learn and to develop a love of Mexican cooking. I hope you continue to enjoy it!!

  7. Patricia Arnold

    Aug 18

    Pati’s Mexican Table is a new program, to me, on our PBS station in Arkansas. I love learning traditional authentic foods and recipes from other countries and cultures. The use of hibiscus flowers is new to me.
    Thanks PBS for CREATE and all of the food, travel and history programs available. I hope always to be able to contribute my share to insure these programs stay on the air.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 18

      Hola Patricia, Thank you so much for writing and for your support! Please do keep watching! I hope you continue to enjoy the show 🙂

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