Sorrel is the flower from the hibiscus plant. It’s deep red in color which makes it just ideal for the yuletide season. Another name for it is Roselle. It takes approximately six months to mature. And is in full bloom during the Christmas period.

Fresh cranberries
Fresh Sorrel

In Jamaica, sorrel drink is a traditional beverage that is very popular at Christmastime. There are two types, the dried and the fresh. The dried version is available all year round. With a quick rinse under tap water, these buds are ready to be immersed in boiling water.

Prepping (rinsing) sorrel and root ginger for boiling water
Prepping (rinsing) sorrel and root ginger for boiling water

Ingredients needed:

  • Sorrel
  • Root ginger
  • Sugar or any sweetener
  • Jamaican white rum (Wray/Nephew) (or any white rum available
  • Red wine (optional)
  • Lemon/lime juice
  • Pimento (all spice) [optional]
  • Water

In this recipe I’m using the fresh version which is less potent. However if the dried ones were used it’s advisable to use extra or double amount of water and other ingredients.


  1. Rinse sorrel/ginger and place in a stock pot or big glass bowl.
  2. Pour boiling water on sorrel.
  3. Crush or grater root ginger and add to sorrel along with a few pimento seeds.
  4. Cover with lid and place it in a cold dark area of pantry in order to prevent fermentation.
  5. Allow it to steep until the buds become pale in color.
  6. Strain and add lemon/lime.
  7. Sweeten with light brown sugar or sweetener of choice.
  8. Add rum and/or to sorrel drink if desired.
  9. Serve over cracked ice.

IMG_20141130_173013Sorrel drink ready for consumption

What would set off this perfect yuletide drink is a piece Jamaican fruit/rum cake. In Jamaica, they go hand in hand. Bear in mind that sorrel drink can be stored in the refrigerator for months. Salud!!






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