Imagine the warm breeze, bouganvilla blooms brightening the mountainside, and ranchera music serenading you, a cool refreshing bebida de jamaica in your hand, and tu amor kissing your neck. Just remove the bouganvilla reference and you have my household right now. We’re hunting the summer cocktail for you this July evening.
A classic refresca in Mexico is jamaica, a bright red tea made from the hibiscus flower. You can purchase ready-made jamaica mixes (muy popular) or the hibiscus flowers in hispanic stores. If you go the hibiscus flower route, steep them in boiled water for several hours and strain. You’ll have a gorgeous red liquid to work with. If you go with the ready-made mixes, pick one without sugar added: you won’t need it for this cocktail because we’re adding a simple syrup to the drink.
The other element you’ll need for this cocktail is a simple syrup infused with ginger. Super easy, just mix in a saucepan and bring to a boil 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water, along with 2 inches of sliced fresh ginger. Once you’ve brought it to a boil, remove from heat, let cool, and strain the ginger. This will keep in the fridge for a week or two.
Squeeze half of a lime into a low ball glass. Muddle with 2 Tablespoons of ginger syrup, fill with ice, pour 1 shot of vodka (2 if you’re daring), and top with the jamaica. Stir. Tart and sweet and spicy and refreshing. Perfect for summer libations and perfecto para una noche de verano.