Makes 8 to 10
2 cups agua de jamaica (recipe below)
2/3 cup sugar
4 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
Combine the agua de jamaica and 1/3 cup of the sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, just until the sugar dissolves. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate until chilled.
Mix the raspberries with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and let sit until the berries release some of their juices, about 30 minutes.
Divide the raspberries and their juices evenly among the molds, then pour in the agua de jamaica mixture, dividing it evenly among the molds. If using conventional molds, snap on the lid and freeze until solid, about 5 hours. If using glasses or other unconventional molds, freeze until the pops are beginning to set (11/2 to 2 hours), then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours. If using an instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Cooler)
Makes 4 cups
1 cup dried hibiscus flowers (available at Latino or gourmet food stores, or online)
4 cups water
1/3 cup sugar, or more if needed
Rinse the flowers in cold water and drain thoroughly. Put them in a saucepan, cover with the water, and let steep for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar and continue to cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher, pressing the solids with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
Add water to bring the volume up to 4 cups. If the flavor is too intense, add more water as needed. You can also add a little more sugar if you like. Refrigerate until completely chilled. Serve as is or over ice.
From Fany Gerson's "Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice and Aguas Frescas" (Ten Speed Press).