The national Christmas drink in Jamaica is Sorrel. Period. I like my sorrel dark, strongwomen and spicy. I thought I would share how to make Jamaican sorrel drink in time for you to enjoy some over the holidays.
Even though we drink it year-round, there’s nothing better than a well-chilled glass of sorrel to accompany the Christmas dinner spread. Sure, you buy a bottle of manufactured Sorrel juice, but I find it tends to be less rich and spicy than I would prefer. I recently lost a bottle of Sorrel juice that had been fermenting since October. With just day to go before Christmas, I honestly felt it to my toes. I wanted to truly cry. And the one thing I did wrong was… I used a plastic bottle and the cover burst. So, I put my own hearth here for you to understand that if you intend to keep it for a while, USE A GLASS BOTTLE FOR YOUR SORREL! As for me, lesson painfully learnt.
That aside, I was able to get a bit earlier this week at the market and it will still make the dinner table on Christmas. But, due to the giver demand during the holiday season, I got half the amount for the price I was able to in October. So, it won’t be as rich and strong as I would prefer. Also of note, because we grow our sorrel locally, Jamaicans on the island tend to make their sorrel juice with fresh sorrel buds, but, it’s just as good if you can only get it dried sorrel where you are from.
Always, Let’s get into it. This is how I make my Jamaican Sorrel drink.
- 2 lbs Sorrel Buds
- 1/2 Ginger
- 1 lbs Sugar
- Cinnamon Sticks (Optional)
- Red Label Wine (Optional)
- White Overproof Rum (Optional)
- Wash sorrel thoroughly in water, using your fingers to rub the buds.
- Scrape and wash ginger. You may grate or mash ginger.
- Crush Pimento Seeds.
- Add ginger and pimento to water to a medium to large pot of water and bring to boil.
- When the water reaches boiling point, add sorrel into the pot and stir for 2-3 minutes. Ensure the sorrel is completely submerged. Turn off Stove.
- Cover the pot with its cover and leave it for 6-8 hours to draw as it cool.
- Strain (well) the liquid over a larger strainer into a large container; Disturb sorrel with a spoon to squeeze more liquid out of the sorrel.
- Add sugar and sweeten to taste.
- Add preferred wine and/or rum to preference.
- Store in a glass bottle. Refrigerate non-alcoholic sorrel.
- Best served after 3 days.