Cinco de Mayo is Thursday, and, since my boyfriend is Mexican-American, I look forward every year to butchering the traditions of his people while catching a light buzz.
See—Cinco is one of those Americanized drinking holidays (much like St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, my birthday, and Christmas) that drives celebrants to theme bars for the holiday drink du jour (or, perhaps more aptly, del dia).
This year, however, I encourage you to stay home with club-approved recipes for Mexican staples like chilaquiles, guacamole, corn/flour tortillas, fish tacos, flan, and—of course—the following Jamaica con Limonada. A combination of hibiscus tea and limeade, this recipe begs to be spiked like a volleyball or Paris Hilton’s head in that terrible movie, House of Wax.
You can find hibiscus at your local Latin grocer (our favorite in Honolulu is Mercado de la Raza). We have a vibrant cowboy or paniolo culture here in Hawai’i, thanks in large part to the introduction of the Mexican vaquero by King Kamehameha III in the 1800s. Despite this historical debt our cattle and horse farms owe Mexico, many locals will tell you good Mexican food is hard to find on Oahu. Much like a man or a sandwich.
Come sit at our table, though, and you can find all three.
- 1 c. dried hibiscus flowers
- 4 c. water to steep tea, + 4 c. cold water to dilute
- ¾ c. granulated sugar
- ¾ c. fresh lime juice
- 4 c. cold water
- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat hibiscus flowers and 4 cups of water until boiling. Reduce to low heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Let cool.
- Strain into a large pitcher, and add sugar, lime juice, and additional cups of water, to taste. Stir to dissolve sugar.