Sorrel is a simple, tart and delicious spiced beverage made with hibiscus that is best served over ice.
In the Caribbean sorrel is made with hibiscus and is most often served around Christmas when the fresh hibiscus is available. If someone says sorrel they may be referring to the prepared drink or the hibiscus used to make it.
When I was in Trinidad last year I visited the local market a few times to stock up on fresh produce. I spent time wandering, talking & taking photos and came across a small vendor with piles of dried hibiscus (sorrel) on his table. After a nice chat I wandered off with a bag of sorrel, some Irish Moss and his very detailed instructions on how to make both (he wanted to make sure that I knew the right way).
You don't need to go all the way to Trinidad or the Caribbean to get sorrel, most Caribbean or Asian markets will carry packaged, dried sorrel year-round. Sorrel can be found dried whole, broken down into smaller pieces, or sold as hibiscus tea in your local health food store.
Sometimes you'll find fresh sorrel (hibiscus) when it's in season, around December or January.
Why sorrel is so good
Not only is sorrel a delicious beautiful, bright red beverage, it contains vitamin C and antioxidants. It's great on it's own or with a splash of rum for a more festive Christmas drink.
Sorrel made with Hibiscus
- ½ cup dried sorrel
- 2 cups water
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- ½ tsp ground clove 1 - 2 if using a whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 allspice berries
- to taste sweetener of choice honey, coconut sugar, coconut nectar
- Put dried sorrel and water into a pot on high heat and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add ginger and clove. Stir to incorporate.
- Add sweetener of choice to taste and stir to dissolve.
- Cover and remove from heat. Let steep for 30 minutes.
- Strain into a pitcher to remove sorrel leaves and ginger.
- Refrigerate to chill before serving.
- To serve add ½ cup of sorrel to ¼ - ½ cup of cold water, pour over ice and enjoy!