When I was little our "Kool Aid" was an array of fruit drinks my mother made from scratch. We had Agua de Tamarindo, a refreshing sweet-tart drink made from tamarind pods. She made Limonada con Chía, lemonade with mint and chia seeds. One of my favorites was the jewel-toned Agua de Jamaica, a drink made from hibiscus FLOWERS!
This recipe can be made in a gelato maker or you can put it in a shallow pan and make a granita. To make a granita, you break up the frozen block and process in a food processor, then you put it back in the shallow pan and freeze some more. You can repeat this process 2-3 more times. Each time you do it, it becomes more fluffy and sorbet-like.
3 quarts Water
5 oz. Jamaica (dried hibiscus flowers)
.5 oz. Cinnamon sticks (preferably Mexican)
1/4 tsp. Whole cloves
1/4 tsp. Whole black pepper -- Yes!
2 cups Sugar
Bring the water to a boil in a stock pot. Add all of the ingredients and let cool in the pot. Strain and further cool down in the refrigerator. Following the manufacturer's instructions put one half of the mixture in a gelato/ice cream maker and run it until it gets fluffy and frozen. Repeat for the other half of the mixture.
Makes 3 quarts.