Pronounced, however, "ha-MIKE-ah" . . . and, in reality, refers not to the country Jamaica, but the abundant flower that grows there and in so many other places, hibiscus. So, this drink is often referred to as Hibiscus Tea. I like the Jamaica, though.
In any case, I drank the stuff a lot while I was there, and was bummed that I couldn't bring it back over the border with me to enjoy at home. The other day I was shopping at what we refer to as the Mexican Costco, and I was so happy to see a bag of this stuff . . . and it was dirt cheap, too. I think like 8 cups or so of the dried flowers set me back all of $3. I bought it, came home and checked recipes on the interweb and, after some testing and fiddling, decided I like it prepared this way the best.
makes 1 quart, more or less
1/2 c dried hibiscus leaves
1/2 c sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 c water
3 c water
Bring 3 c water to a boil, remove from heat. Add hibiscus, sugar and cinnamon stick. Let sit for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice to dissolve sugar. Pour through strainer, pressing the flowers to get all the juice. Add another 3 c water to taste, chill and serve.
Notes: the amount of water is variable, depending on how strong you like it. This is really more of an infusion than a tea, so steeping it longer than 10 minutes does not give you a stronger brew, only a more bitter one. Want it stronger? Add more flowers, or less water. In Mexico, this is optionally served with milk.