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August 21, 2008

XYZ’s Jamaica Iced Tea

A visit to the Bar Harbor area deserves a visit to the ranchito known simply as XYZ. This beloved Mexican restaurant in Southwest Harbor serves up rustic fare typical of the food found in the Mexican interior. All the dishes are made from scratch by Bob Hoyt who mans the cooking and Janet Strong who makes the desserts. Their hibiscus iced tea is the perfect antidote for a deep summer thirst. 

Nieve de Jamaica
Hibiscus Iced Tea

2 cups dried Jamaica or Hibiscus flowers
6 cups water
¾ cup sugar
Mint for garnish

Add flowers and water to saucepan, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes and then use a sieve to discard flowers. Add sugar and lime to taste, mix well, and cool.

Pour tea into a shallow metal pan and place in freezer. Stir after 20 minutes, and then every 15 minutes for approximately 1 ½ hours. When it has a firm, crunchy consistency, cover with foil, and freeze. To serve, scrape with a metal spoon in chilled 6 ounce margarita glasses with a sprig of mint.

Note: Chiles and hibiscus can be purchased online from

From the staff at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.


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