Sorrel is a flower that is a cousin of the Hibiscus plant. The flower is seasonal and blooms around late November into December. It is used to make a classic Christmas drink around the holidays. Jamaicans drink sorrel up until at least New Year’s Day and maybe a little beyond the festive season. Over the years, the dried flower has become popular making it possible to drink Sorrel all year round. Sorrel can be served sweet and spicy in a cold drink or hot as tea. It can also be used as the base of glazes, jams and compotes. Jamaican sorrel drink is very delicious juice.
The health benefits of sorrel are numerous. The calyces of the Sorrel are high in Vitamin C and flavonoids. Studies have shown that these properties have significant health benefits. They are anti-inflammatory, protecting the body from oxidative damages and helps in smooth digestion.
Sorrel is also used to treat bacterial infections and to alleviate sudden and ongoing pain and swelling (inflammation) of the nasal passages and respiratory tract. Sorrel also helps to reduce blood pressure and by significantly reducing elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, Sorrel has been shown to minimize the risk of heart disease.
In some ways, the method of making Jamaican sorrel adulterated the goodness of the flower with rum and lots of sugar as sorrel is also very tart. You can make this drink with a lot less sugar or honey and other sugar substitutes. You can also dilute a glass of sorrel with water or ice to cut back on the amount of sugar consumed per serving.
For Jamaican sorrel drink you will need:
- 1-4 oz packet of dried sorrel
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup red wine (Cabernet)
- 1 cup @wrayrum white rum
- 6 cups boiling hot water
- In a large pitcher, dump the entire packet of dried sorrel and add grated ginger. Fill the pitcher with hot water. Cover the pitcher with a lid and foil paper to trap the steam and heat inside. Allow the sorrel to steep overnight.
- In the morning, strain out the sorrel fruit from the liquid. Discard the sorrel fruit. Pour the liquid into a large pitcher or punch bowl.
- Add water, rum and wine and stir well.
- Add sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved.
- Serve chilled or on ice. Enjoy!