In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Traditional Caribbean Sorrel Drink.

If there’s one drink in the Caribbean which screams “Christmas” it would definitely have to be sorrel. From Trinidad and Tobago in the south (include Guyana in mainland South America) to Jamaica in the north, as you make you way up the island chain… islanders all appreciate a cold glass of sorrel on those hot Caribbean days. As we have islands in the Caribbean so do we have variations of this refreshing drink (recipe), so please use this as a basic guide for making sorrel and do add your own personal touch.


You’ll Need…

1.5 lb sorrel flowers (trimmed)
8 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
2 pieces of dried orange peel
4 cloves
thick slice of ginger
sugar to sweeten

* Note: If you like your sorrel drink stronger, be sure to double up on the amount of sorrel petals you use. Also note that if you’re using dried sorrel petals, 1 lb will give you a much stronger brew than freshly picked leaves.

This is a very simple recipe and all it really takes is patience. Remove the core out of the sorrel flowers and discard, then place all the ingredients in a large pot, cover with the water and bring to a boil.

* Remember to see my note above about achieving a strong brew! Reduce to a gentle simmer and let it go for about 30 minutes. Then remove off the heat, cover and let it steep for a few hours. Mom would always go overnight for maximum flavor. If you’re wondering what orange peel is.. mom always had the peel (skin) of oranges she would peel for us, hung in a corner of the kitchen to dry. The dried orange peel (skin) would then be used to flavor drinks like sorrel and also make some wonderful (soothing) teas.

It’s now time to strain (and discard).. I would recommend double straining with a very fine strainer or cheese cloth to remove any debris. Chill and sweeten to your liking.

Traditionally brown sugar cane sugar is used in sweetening sorrel, but you can use whatever sweetener you prefer.  Remember to add some crushed ice and sliced limes or lemons when serving and you can certainly spike things up with a dash or two of rum and Angostura bitters.

Tip.. double or triple up on the amount of sorrel petals you use and the resulting brew can be used as a concentrate. Simply bottle and store in the fridge. Then use as needed (add a small amount to water, sweeten) when you crave a tall glass of chilled sorrel.

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Traditional Caribbean Sorrel Drink Recipe.
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29 Comments

  1. Cindy
    December 25, 2017 / 8:39 am

    Hi Chris,
    Once I’ve boiled the sorrel and make my drink can I reuse the leaves again to make more drinks? Do I dry out the leaves and put them in the fridge?

    Thanks
    Happy Holidays!
    Cindy

  2. Chelly
    January 28, 2017 / 2:21 am

    You can also add your favorite rum/liquor white rum / liquor preferably

  3. Gillian Lall
    December 24, 2016 / 11:05 am

    In Washington (State) and found dried sorrel under the name “Hibiscus Tea”

  4. Tasha
    October 3, 2016 / 9:30 am

    I’m in Washington,DC where can I find SORREL so I can make this drink

    • Charlotte
      October 27, 2016 / 8:59 am

      Hey Tasha, I just bought some at Foodway in Lanham, but you should be able to find sorrel at any international food market.

  5. December 28, 2015 / 7:25 am

    Hi Chris,

    I tried this recipe first time making Sorrel and it was a hit! Thank you. Now this will be a new tradition but not just for Christmas.

  6. December 28, 2015 / 7:22 am

    Hi Chris,

    I made this recipe, first time making Sorrel and it was a hit! Thank you a new tradition and not just for Christmas.

  7. Dominic Patrice
    December 21, 2015 / 6:55 pm

    Used your recipe to make some with sorrel from Grenada. ..I bottled and left in the fridge to cusumay.

  8. Susan
    December 1, 2015 / 4:14 pm

    I was not a big fan of cooking and baking but your recipes changed that. Thank you and all the best for the future

  9. Marcia A Bushell-Caldwell
    November 29, 2015 / 11:31 pm

    I live in Florida. I just harvested by first batch of sorrel, and made about 4 gallons and added white rum. I have put it in glass bottles. How do I store these? Does is have to be refrigerated? I plan on giving some as gifts, but I would like to keep some for consumption during the year. Please advise!

  10. Nancy
    April 27, 2015 / 4:36 am

    You can also add vanilla, banana or strawberry essence to the sorrel drink.It gives it body and good taste.

  11. April 12, 2015 / 10:52 am

    OMG 2 thumbs up to your Mom, I’m growing my own sorrel and can’t wait. This will make a terrific summer drink!! Thanks to you and your Mom

  12. Stacie
    January 25, 2015 / 9:37 am

    On a trip to Barbados in 2012 a tour guide picked us some fresh sorrel buds. This was the first time I ever saw it fresh. I have always loved this drink; I keep a bag of dried sorrel in the cupboard because it’s so easy to prepare. Never thought of making a concentrate! Thanks for the inspiration! I’m in the US and recommend your site to friends and family!

  13. Vilorn
    December 23, 2014 / 2:51 pm

    I don’t have the dried orange peel because this is sort of last minute can I just use orange zest or fresh orange peel?

  14. Antoinette
    December 22, 2014 / 12:20 pm

    I maid the sorrel for Thanksgiving and I will be making it tonight with my daughter for Xmas, I just finished making the Punch-de-Creme recipe, thanks it came out so good…Rum punch next…so happy its Xmas. I get to make all of my favorite things. Have a wonderful Xmas and enjoy your family

    • Antoinette
      December 22, 2014 / 12:22 pm

      I need to correct the word maid, I get so excited when I am speaking about food, I was going to put made. Thanks

  15. Annie R
    December 16, 2014 / 7:39 am

    Please send me info on how to get sorrel seeds

    To [email protected] Com

  16. Angela
    December 5, 2014 / 7:47 pm

    I put a little bay leave

  17. Henry
    June 28, 2014 / 10:48 pm

    I’ll be making a huge Dutch pot of Sorrel tomorrow. Got quite a few packs of Sorrel leaves. I live close to Charlotte NC and it can be hard to find Sorrel in any grocery store. Your best bet is at a local ethnic food store or supermarket. I stocked up on lots of Sorrel leaf packs finding them at a Compare Foods store in Charlotte which is a Latin grocery store. Unless you’ve seen Sorrel before or know exactly what it looks like you may have hard time finding the leaves. But if you know the leaves you will spot it when you see it even if there is no real name on packages if the leaves. At Compare foods it did not really have any name on the packages of leaves. It just said product of Mexico and Jamaica. But I clearly knew what it was as soon as I spot it.

    Among all the great benefits of drinking Sorrel Drink one the great thing it does is to help lower your blood pressure naturally. And that’s only one great health benefit among all the others.

  18. Kelly
    June 21, 2014 / 12:16 pm

    what is the dried equivalent of sorrel?

    thanks, kelly

    • janeanne
      January 13, 2015 / 9:34 am

      Hibiscus is the same plant.

      • admin
        January 13, 2015 / 10:53 am

        it’s in the same hibiscus plant family, but not the same plant.

  19. w h rose
    May 14, 2014 / 6:20 pm

    FM Charleston, SC: Where do I find the sorrel plant? Who has the seeds so I can grow my patch? Last tasted in Bedford, England, UK 1984-88 while in USAF.
    Your cooking classes have revolutionized y kitchen. Thank You so very much.

    • Delvon Anderson
      October 14, 2014 / 11:40 pm

      I have sorrel seeds. I live in Florida and just harvested sorrel and have dried seeds of a good variety. Email me at [email protected].

      • Annie R
        December 16, 2014 / 7:38 am

        Please send me info on how to get sorrel seeds

      • Delvon Anderson
        January 21, 2015 / 9:06 pm

        The seeds are ten cent a piece.

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