Jamaican Sorrel Recipe -
The Drink of Choice at Christmas Time

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This Jamaican sorrel recipe makes a rich, tasty sorrel drink that is enjoyed by many Jamaicans and other Caribbean residents alike.

Jamaica Sorrel PlantJamaica Sorrel Plant

The sorrel drink has always been a part of the Jamaican food and culture with most people consuming it during the Christmas season.

Other foods such as the oh so popular Christmas cake (rum cake), gungo rice and peas, and others are also consumed mostly in the Christmas season. Therefore, it is more than likely to be accompanied by the tasty sorrel drink.

Many persons love sorrel because of the rich smooth taste it has, but I strongly believe that they love it even more when the good old Jamaican White Rum is added to it to give it that kick. That additional kick is what makes the sorrel made in Jamaica so special and distinguished!!

Don't be alarmed by the fact that rum is added to the mix. You CAN choose to add the rum or not. Even if it is added, you have control over how much is added to affect or enhance the taste. Some of my family members like it with a mild hint of rum while I prefer it with the rum being tasted in addition to the sorrel :-).

The sorrel plant is not indigenous to Jamaica, it can be found in many places around the world. The scientific name for sorrel is Hibiscus Sabdariffa, otherwise known as Roselle Plant.

The flowers are white or pale yellow with dark red spots at the base of each petal. It has a stout fleshy calyx at the base which, when matures, enlarges to a fleshy and bright red pulp.

We Jamaicans usually plant the seeds early up in the year so it can be reaped towards year end, you know, between the months of November and December...right in time for Christmas!

Without further delay, here is the Jamaican Sorrel Recipe...

Jamaican Sorrel Recipe

Jamaican Sorrel RecipeJamaican Sorrel Drink With Rum


Recipe 1:

3 lbs       sorrel

1 inch     root ginger, washed, crushed and blended

12           whole cloves

5             pimento leaves, or 4 green dried grains of pimento

6            cinnamon leaves

6 pt.      boiling water

½ cup   overproof rum (optional)

½ lb      granulated sugar or sweeten to taste

1 tbsp    lime juice

1 tbsp    rice


1. Cut sorrel sepals from seeds and wash well.

2. Put sepals in a crock jar with ginger, cloves, pimento and cinnamon leaves.

3. Pour on boiling water, cover with a cloth and set aside for 24 hours.

4. A tablespoon of rice can be put in sorrel to speed fermentation.

5. Strain and sweeten with granulated sugar and little lime juice. You may add the rum at this point.

6. Bottle and chill.


Recipe 2:

3 cups      picked sorrel

1 inch       root ginger

12             whole cloves

3               pimento leaves

4               cinnamon leaves

5 cups.     boiling water

½ lb         brown sugar or sweeten to taste


1. Add sorrel, ginger, cloves and spice leaves to rapidly boiling water.

2. Keep on flame and allow water to return to a boil.

3. Simmer for a further 4 minutes.

4. Strain and sweeten.

5. Bottle.

Tip: Frozen sorrel gives best results (taste, flavor, and colour) than dried sorrel.

Yields 12 cups
Let me know which method of this Jamaican Sorrel Recipe you prefer and how you like it, with or without the added rum.

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