Jamaican Sorrel Drink Recipe – using Dried Sorrel
This Jamaican Sorrel Drink Recipe using dried Sorrel is your answer to a deliciously refreshing Sorrel drink anytime during the year!
Sorrel – Jamaica’s Ultimate Christmas Drink!
During the Christmas season, a cold, tangy jug of Sorrel Drink is the ultimate in many Jamaican households. This is because it’s a drink that ignites a festive vibe whether it’s made with alcohol or without. Growing up in Jamaica, my mother would brew lots of fresh sorrel loaded with spices early in the season and let it steep for days. Allowing the sorrel to sit for days before serving it is what gives Sorrel its bold flavour and intoxicating aroma. Many Jamaicans will tell you that there’s just something sweet, comforting and ahhh-mazing about the smell of Jamaican Sorrel Drink as its fragrance floats through the air at Christmas-time.
Traditionally, Jamaicans prepare lots of Sorrel drink to treat family and friends who visit at Christmas-time. Let me tell you, for many Jamaicans, there’s nothing more satisfying than a generous serving of Sorrel drink to go along with the customary slice of Jamaican fruit cake! You’ll also find that Jamaican Sorrel deliciously complements all the richly flavoured meals of the Christmas season, right into the New Year.
Fresh Sorrel versus Dried, which Sorrel is Best?
Fresh sorrel can be difficult to source in many places across the world. In fact, fresh sorrel can be very hard to find in Jamaica even when in peak season. That’s how I discovered the wonders of using Dried Sorrel and why I chose to share this delicious Jamaican Sorrel drink recipe with you.
I find using dried sorrel to be a better option than fresh sorrel, mainly because of its long shelf-life. It is also much more affordable and most importantly, it’s just as flavourful! My family and I now enjoy the delicious taste of Christmas every year by using dried sorrel to make our Jamaican sorrel drink.
What is Sorrel drink made of?
This Jamaican Sorrel drink recipe uses dried sorrel, infused with ginger, pimento, and cloves, then sweetened with cane sugar to make a refreshingly flavourful beverage. The blend of spices works beautifully to provide a rich accent to the naturally tart flavour of the sorrel. Enjoyed as a key part of Christmas celebrations in Jamaica and the Caribbean, this spicy drink can be prepared with or without alcohol. If you’re an adult who prefers the more spirited version, you can add a splash of rum or red wine, to taste.
Sorrel Drink is made by boiling the sorrel with spices in water to extract all the delicious properties of the sepals. The brew is then sweetened and served chilled or over ice. The exotically floral, and flavourful taste of the Jamaican sorrel drink all starts with the brewing process. Boiling the dried sorrel along with spices rehydrates the sorrel and starts the extraction process. The slow steeping process makes the sorrel drink full-bodied; giving it a rich, appealing red colour, and infuses it with maximum flavour. Layering flavours like ginger, cloves and pimentos and cane sugar brings this spiced floral drink to life.
What are the health benefits of Sorrel drink?
Sorrel offers several health benefits. The juice extracted from sorrel contains poly-phenolic acid, flavonoids and anthocyanins which are potent antioxidants that help to protect from premature cell damage and reduces ageing, supporting eye, immune and digestive health. Research also indicates that drinking unsweetened sorrel helps to lower blood pressure.
This Jamaican Sorrel drink recipe is a simple yet flavourful way to spice up all your Christmas festivities, so give it a try!
Refreshing Jamaican Sorrel Drink
- 4 Litre Stainless Steel Pot
- large Strainer
- large container with lid
- 100 g dried sorrel (or 4 cups)
- 16 cups water
- 4 inch ginger root chopped and crushed
- ½ tbsp cloves
- ½ tbsp pimento seeds
- 1 orange peel optional
- 2 cups cane sugar to taste
- 1 tsp ginger powder optional
- 1 cap Jamaican rum optional
- ¼ cup red wine optional
- Peel, chop, wash and crush the ginger root.
- Add dried sorrel, ginger root, cloves, pimento seeds and water to a large pot and let it boil for 40 minutes.
- After boiling add the orange peel, cover the pot and allow the sorrel steep for 12 - 24 hrs. The longer the sorrel steeps the more flavourful and potent it becomes.
- Place a large strainer over a large container and strain the liquid from the pot of sorrel.
- Use a large wooden spoon or your hands to squeeze the excess liquid through the strainer before discarding the sorrel pulp.
- Add 2 cups of cane sugar to sweeten.
- If you're making sorrel for adults who enjoy the kick of alcohol, add some rum or red wine - 'to taste'. Start with a small quantity, taste the sorrel, and add more alcohol only as needed.
- If you like your sorrel extra spicy follow this step:Taste the sorrel to test for the desired flavour. Add a bit more sugar, ginger powder, cloves and pimento as necessary. I love my sorrel extra spicy and prefer to add 1 - 2 tsp ginger powder, a few more cloves and pimento seeds after sweetening. Please know that it's totally up to your taste whether you add OR omit these additional ingredients. If you choose to add more spices, let the sorrel steep on the counter for another 6 - 8 hrs and then strain it for the final time.
- When you have the desired sorrel flavour, pour the sorrel into a large jug, cover it and refrigerate. Your sorrel can last for weeks when refridgerated.
- Serve your sorrel 'over ice', bless up and enjoy it!!