It's been so darn hot here in lala land that I've been guzzling my favorite Mexican tea, Jamaica (pronounced ha-mike-a), which is basically water infused with hibiscus flowers. Unlike the Mexicans, who prefer theirs sugary sweet akin to southerners 'sweet tea', I like mine straight up and chilled. I can almost feel the cleansing properties of the rich in Vitamin C potion as it goes down. If I want to sass it up, some pineapple juice does the trick or a sprig of fresh mint.
I sometimes add a shot of booze (at cocktail hour of course). This particular batch was smuggled into the United States from Costa Careyes, Mexico where I vacationed in April. Fortunately, Los Angeles has some of the best Latin markets around so it shouldn't be hard to come by, especially if you find a store with a good produce department. Here are a couple places that I know stock it in a generic clear plastic bag. No label. No nothing except a pile of pretty dark magenta flowers. Grand Central Market 317 S. Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90013 La Adelita 5821 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90038 (While you're there buy a bag of their homemade tortilla chips, fried in lard of course. You can¹t beat Œem) And here's how to make Jamaica: Grab a handful of flowers and put them in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Let it cool and then strain into your favorite pitcher. Now you¹re ready to sip and savor. - Stacie Stukin