As summer dances along and temperatures soar one of my favourite long cool drinks is Sorrel. Yes, purely speaking it is traditionally drunk at Christmas in the Caribbean as a festive drink, but with delicious spices and a tanginess that is refreshing this is just so good I love drinking it throughout the summer too. A fabulous idea to have in the fridge for that end of week treat and for summer parties where guests will love it.
You can try growing sorrel in the UK, I believe some have had success with it as an annual plant but it is really for warm climates as a tropical plant. Sorrel is drunk around the world where it grows from Egypt to Australia. You can buy sorrel at Caribbean stores or if you’re not near one Neal’s Yard sell the dried petals. You will see it labelled as Hibiscus as per it’s botanical name – Hibiscus sabdariffa, also sometimes called Roselle.
- 1 lb sorrel (Roselle, Hibiscus sabdariffa)
- 2 ltrs of water
- 3 tbsp agave syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp mace
- 1 tsp star anise (ground)
- 1 tsp ground pimento
- Peel of 1 orange
- Peel of 1 lemon
Optional (but well worth it 😉 )
- 1/2 cup Jamaican white rum
Place the sorrel, orange peel, lemon peel, spices and water into a large pan. Grate the ginger and add to the ingredients.
Quickly bring to the ingredients to the boil. Stir the ingredients and let it boil for 10 mins.
Remove the pan from the heat.
When cool. Place the pan in the fridge overnight and let it steep for 24 hours.
Remove from the fridge and strain the liquid into another pan to remove the sorrel petals and peel. The liquid will be lovely deep red colour.
Return the liquid to the heat and gently bring to a simmer. Add the agave syrup, sugar and rum if you are adding this and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove from the heat and let it completely cool. Pour into sterilised litre bottles and place in the fridge ready for serving.
Serve poured over ice and enjoy!
Agave syrup and coconut palm sugar isn’t as sweet as ordinary sugar. You may need to experiment with the amount of these sweeteners you use to get a sweetness that just right for you.