What you’re drinking: Aguas frescas are those gorgeous, colorful, often fruit-based refreshments served in any taqueria worthy of the name, usually with a metal ladle out of a big glass jar or from a recirculating beverage dispenser. Jamaica (hibiscus flower) agua fresca is one of the most popular flavors, and Tia’s version is a ruby-red liquid in a double-decker cooler.

Why you’re drinking it: It’s 58 degrees Fahrenheit outside as of this writing, but soon the sun will be out and you’ll be seeking a cool and delicious beverage. Drinking one of these while relaxing in Tia’s garden seating, maybe while waiting for a taco, is the perfect sunny-day break.

Agua fresca at Tia’s Big Sky

What’s in it: Hibiscus flowers — jamaica in Spanish — make for a tart and bright tea with a flavor similar to cranberry juice. It’s also very high in vitamin C. Tia’s version has a slight cinnamon undertone and just enough sweetness from the piña and agave to temper the astringent hibiscus.

Where to get it: Tia’s Big Sky, 1016 W. Broadway St., on the corner of Broadway and Hawthorne.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

Staff Reporter

Susan Elizabeth Shepard lived in Missoula from 2008 to 2011 before returning in 2017 to work at the Independent. She is also a two-time resident of Austin, TX, and Portland, OR, with an interest in labor, music and sports. @susanelizabeth on Twitter.

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