Caribbean Sorrel Drink is my new Christmas drink obsession!
Made from scratch, I additionally spike it with rum turning this amazing Trinidad sorrel drink into a holiday highlight.
Sunita, originally from Trinidad, introduced me to this amazing beverage prepared with flower buds.
Her brother was so kind to send us some pictures from the flower fields growing right now in Trinidad and Tobago.
What is Sorrel drink?
Sorrel drink is a traditional Christmas beverage from the Caribbeans, prepared with the Roselle hibiscus flower variety and spices.
The ruby red sorrel drink is popular during the holidays on the islands such as in Trinidad and Tobago as well as Jamaica (just to name a few).
Sorrel drink should not be confused with the green sour sorrel leaves! Sorrel leaves have nothing in common with the sorrel beverage, except the name, because it’s another plant variety.
What is Roselle?
Roselle is the red bulbous hibiscus variety.
People call Roselle sometimes Sorelle too and in some parts in America, it is better known as flor de Jamaica.
The flower of roselle plant is used as an infusion in the American/Caribbean peninsula and in Africa.
In Asia, local regional tribes and people tend to use the roselle leaves instead of the buds.
Freshly picked Roselle hibiscus flower buds
Roselle plants in Trinidad and Tobago (thanks to Rishi for the pictures!)
Red Roselle flower buds can be used fresh or dried.
That way the flower buds are infused in boiling water or alcohol such as rum.
Roselle originated in Africa and people prepare a plain roselle infusion (minus the spices) all year round in the French-speaking African countries.
Dried Roselle flower buds (thanks to Sunita)
Sorrel drink benefits
Sorrel is quite a health bomb!
Turns out you do well to enjoy this healthier Christmas time beverage because the hibiscus flowers pack a punch in nutrients and health benefits.
These are some of the Rosella health benefits:
- lowers blood sugar (heart health)
- promotes liver health (hangover help)
- may boost weight loss
- rich in antioxidants (prevents the future formation of cancer cells)
- cooles you down (thirst quencher in the heat)
- may be good for pregnant ladies
How to make Sorrel drink from scratch?
To prepare the sorrel drink you will need to boil the flower buds with the spices so that the water gets infused with all the wonderful flavors.
The sorrel can then be strained and left to cool.
To serve, simply pour the sorrel, with or without rum, into a glass.
If you have not sweetened the drink yet, add some of the liquid corn syrup or some honey.
Serve cold with plentiful ice cubes!
More Flower Recipes:
Dear Reader, have you ever come across Sorell? If yes where?
Caribbean Sorrel Drink
How to Video
- Pour the water into a pot and keep on the heat.
- Add the roselle hibiscus flowers, as well as the cinnamon stick, cloves, and the star anise.
- Mix and bring to a boil. Take from the heat and let it all steep covered for about 20 minutes.
- Sweeten with sugar when it’s still hot or add corn syrup to the glass later.
- Pick out the spices, let the sorrel drink cool down.
- Serve with rum (or not) and ice cubes cooled and mixed.
- Dried Roselle flowers tend to be more intense in taste. So when using fresh flowers you might want to adjust the amounts by adding some and taste testing it.
- You can add sugar during the cooking process or let cool and pour into glasses with liquid corn sugar.
- You may or may not add rum to your Sorrell. I use white Caribbean rum. You can prepare an alcohol-free version by just skipping the rum.
- Recipe adapted from the Naparima Cookbook