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.

Sorrel petals.

The beautiful deep red colour of Sorrel sepals.

You can try growing sorrel in the UK under glass, I believe there has been some success with it growing it this way 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.

Caribbean Sorrel

  • Servings: 2 ltr
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


Caribbean sorrel drink. A wonderful deep red. Each island makes it slightly differently in terms of spices added. Some add cloves. Experiment to see the flavours you love coming through.

Caribbean sorrel drink. Each island makes it slightly differently in terms of spices added. Some add cloves. Experiment to see the flavours you love coming through.

    • 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.

No Responses

    • LorraineGardens

      Hi! Thank you. I’m glad you like it. It’s such a standard drink for Caribbeans yet outside of tropical regions little is known of it. I’m glad to share it.

      • M E Cheshier

        Hi Lorraine, You are most welcome. Funny how something can be so common in an area but foreign in others. Yes, I am glad that you shared the it. 🙂

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