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Hibiscus Margaritas

Aren’t these margaritas gorgeous? Wait till you sip one. Tart with lime juice, of course. And nicely seasoned with 100% agave tequila and a dash of orange liqueur. It’s the color that really gets you saying WOW–and the flavor that comes with the color–a syrup made with dried hibiscus blossoms.
hibiscus margaritas lettyskitchen

Make a batch of hibiscus syrup for hibiscus margaritas–and for refreshing sparkling sodas for those who don’t drink alcohol.

To create the ideal margarita recipe requires tasting and testing. Fortunately, along came Valentine’s Day and the need for a party to celebrate the moonrise over Baja.  We packed all the ingredients for red hibiscus margaritas in an ice chest and took the party to the beach. Trial samples for everyone. When the entire test panel practically inhaled their crimson cocktails, I knew I had a winner.
dried hibiscus flowers for Hibiscus Margaritas

Hibiscus drinks, con o sin (with or without) alcohol, begins with “tea” made with dried hibiscus blossoms. Pour boiling water over, and let the flowers steep and plump. Strain off the flowers and wah-la! —you’ve got a vivid royal plum-red infusion. Look for  flor de jamaica (floor-day-ha-mike-a) in Latino grocers–the deep dark purple dried flowers are usually in see-through bags. Or buy them online.

Hibiscus brews are fruity, with an acidic edge, indicating ample Vitamin C on board. That tart flavor says, for my taste buds at least, sugar needed. So sweeten things up just a bit, with sugar or agave or honey.

hibiscus flower in bloom Hibiscus Margaritas

I have an ongoing affair with hibiscus flowers. Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger herbal tea, which I adore, hot or iced, lists hibiscus the first ingredient..

I can still taste the fruity hibiscus contrasting creamy chocolate in that chocolate flan with red caramel sauce I once made for a fancy brunch–mouthwatering. Frosty hibiscus sorbet—bring it on. And in Mexico, the red refreshment in the plastic barrels at street corner stands–that’s the absolute best. It’s called agua de jamaica and inspired these margaritas.

Celebrate National Margarita Day. Drink hibiscus margaritas–“jamaicaritas.” Viva flor de jamaica!

Recipe Notes:

  • No alcohol? A tablespoon or two of hibiscus syrup in a glass of ice and topped with cold sparkling water makes an elegant sober cocktail or an impressive mid-afternoon thirst-quencher. Think Italian sodas.
  • To make red agua fresca, or agua de jamaica you will want to seriously dilute the hibiscus syrup with even more water. Start with 6 cups water to 2 tablespoons of syrup.
  • Mexican “key” limes, smaller and more yellow in color, are perfect for margaritas. If you can get them, use them.

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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Hibiscus Margaritas
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Delicious and refreshing bright red margaritas. Make with dried hibiscus (jamaica) flowers, the same flower used in Red Zinger tea.

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 2 margaritas
Author: Letty | Letty's Kitchen
Hibiscus syrup:
  • 1 cup flor de jamaica (dried hibiscus flowers)
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup honey, organic cane sugar, or agave syrup
For each hibiscus margarita:
  • 2 tablespoons hibiscus syrup
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons (100% agave tequila, gold or silver
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
  • Sliced lime
Make the syrup:
  1. Pour the boiling water over the flowers. Cover and let steep ½ hour or more. Strain this infusion into a saucepan, discarding the flowers. Stir in the honey or sugar and heat just enough to dissolve the sweetener into syrup. Chill.
For each hibiscus margarita:
  1. Fill a margarita glass with ice cubes. Add the syrup, lime jice, tequila and orange liqueur. Stir. Garnish with a slice of lime. Alternatively, make up a batch following the same ratio. Pour a scant ½ cup over ice.
  2. Do you prefer salty margaritas? Run a wedge of lime around the edge and dip the glass upside down into a plate of coarse salt.
Recipe Notes

For an elegant sober cocktail or an impressive mid-afternoon thirst-quencher. stir one or two tablespoons of hibiscus syrup in a glass with ice and cold sparkling water. To make agua de jamaica you will want to seriously dilute the hibiscus syrup with even more water. Start with 6 cups water to 2 tablespoons of syrup. Mexican “key” limes, smaller and more yellow in color, are perfect for margaritas. If you can get them, use them.


  • I like the Wild Hibiscus syrup and tea. Have you tried those? GREG Reply · 21 February, 2014

    • Letty

      Greg, I checked them out. Thanks for introducing me to this product. Wow. Classy.
      There are recipes for hibiscus kombucha out there. Might get me to drink the fermentation. Reply · 21 February, 2014

  • Steve Harty

    Sounds like INTERnational Margarita day! I have my supplies ready and look forward to celebrating with the Jamaicaritas! we will toast you and Robbie. Reply · 21 February, 2014

    • Letty

      And we will clink the margaritas inter-nationally!
      Hope the macaron cake is perfect. Send photos. Reply · 21 February, 2014

  • Yum! Reply · 22 February, 2014

  • bobbye

    This is exactly what i need, Thanks! Reply · 22 February, 2014

  • Letty, This is a fantastic recipe. Both my husband and I love agua de jamaica and I know we’d your margaritas. Your flan makes me want to like the screen.:) Reply · 22 February, 2014

  • Letty, your margaritas look fantastic! Both hubby and I love agua de jamaica and would really enjoy your margaritas too. Your link to the flan made me want to lick the screen.:) Reply · 22 February, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Nancy,
      THese margaritas got me on the dance floor last night. I prefer to start with a light jamaica caramel in the bottom of the mold instead of the sauce on the side. Reply · 23 February, 2014

  • Nigel

    Glad we could be there for the Moonrise Hibiscus Margarita Test Mixing. Karen and I are really enjoying your web site. Hope all is well in the Baja! Have a great Winter!!! Reply · 7 March, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Nigel. Nice to hear from you. I almost posted a photo of Bryn in front of the moon but it was grainy when blown up for the website. Reply · 7 March, 2014

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