Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Flor de Jamaica
Have you ever had a glass of garnet hued agua de jamaica? It is one stunning drink that is not to be missed! Clementina
- Reader comment on the tamarind post.
I had not, though I have had a well-dressed and unforgettable hibiscus margarita in New York, at one of Aaron Sanchez's places. So, I was game.
Flor de Jamaica is hibiscus flower, it comes dried as you can see, or canned in a syrup. In neither case is the flower visually appealing. As a dried flower specimen, they would be among the ugliest. But they are an exotic, inexpensive, exciting finished syrup to have around the bar when brought to a boil in sugar syrup, steeped, and strained, like tea.
I wanted the the Flor de Jamaica water, ginger ale, and champagne mixtures suggested by various sources to have a novel flavor never before encountered with cocktails around here. But in truth, it makes something not unlike grenadine, only more fresh and lively, and I would use it in exactly the same places. It is novel, to a point: Just not the point of newness on your tongue. But try it, it is a beautiful garnet tone and, unlike grenadine, twinkles magically in a pitcher. Finally, a great conversation starter...