Hibiscus-Tequila Cocktails

When Jacques Pepin was new to Playa del Carmen, local friends taught him how to turn the dried hibiscus flowers from the market into a tart and aromatic tea that's popular in the Yucatan. To make a refreshing cocktail, he mixes the bright red tea with tequila, lime juice, jarabe (bottled sugar syrup) and a splash of hot sauce.


Slideshow:  Cocktail Party Recipes


  • Active:
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  • Servings: Makes 4 drinks
KEY: Spring, Summer, Barbecue/Cookout, Cocktail Party, Mother's Day, New Year's Eve, Caribbean, Latin American, Mexican, Cocktails, Make Ahead

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  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 dashes of habanero hot sauce

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the hibiscus flowers and boil for 1 minute. Cover and remove from the heat. Let steep for 15 minutes. Strain the tea into a bowl and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Refrigerate until well chilled.
  2. Stir the tequila, lime juice and hot sauce into the tea. Pour into ice-filled highball glasses and serve.

Make Ahead

The hibiscus tea can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Dried hibiscus flowers, also called flor de Jamaica, can be found at Latin and Caribbean markets and at health food stores. In a pinch, Red Zinger tea bags can be substituted.

Contributed By Published July 2006

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SOMM: Into the Bottle – Robert Mondavi

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