International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Sorrel Punch

Dried hibiscus flowers

(Jamaican hibiscus flower beverage)

Image Creative Commons by Revolution_Ferg

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Sorrel punch is a traditional Christmas beverage in the Caribbean. Dried hibiscus flowers — known as sorrel in Jamaica and not to be confused with the pungent green — can be found in most Caribbean or Latin markets. In Latin markets hibiscus flowers are known as jamaica, and so is the beverage. In West Africa the flowers are known as roselle or bissap and in Nigeria the drink is called zobo.

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

Ingredients

  • Dried hibiscus flowers (sorrel) -- 2 cups
  • Gingerroot, minced -- 1/4 cup
  • Boiling water -- 8 cups
  • Sugar -- 1 to 1 1/4 cups

Method

  1. Place hibiscus flowers and ginger in a large bowl and pour in the boiling water. Cover and let steep for several hours at room temperature.
  2. Strain into a large pitcher and stir in sugar to taste. Serve well chilled.

Sorrel Punch Variations

  • Add a few allspice berries or a stick of cinnamon the the steeping hibiscus and ginger if you like.
  • Use only 4 cups boiling water to steep. Add 4 cups of seltzer water after straining and chilling for a bubbly beverage.
  • Mix with a shot of rum and a garnish of lime for a nice cocktail.

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