For many people from the Caribbean, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Sorrel Tea. The sorrel plant gives this hibiscus flower tea its bright red color. Made with the comforting qualities of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and cardamom, it’s a feel-good spiced tea. Along with the sweet/tart, refreshing drink, you’ll also enjoy the citrus overtones and ginger-rich zing! There just can’t be one glass!
Some dishes, like my Gram’s famous cream of wheat (a lot of vanilla essence, extra sweetened condensed milk, and cinnamon) simply make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Or Mom’s easy baked chicken that’s slow-roasted and well seasoned. Without a doubt, sorrel tea ranks highly as well. I like to joke that this beverage is to Caribbean people what sweet tea is to Americans.
Never Miss A Good Deal!
Spiced Sorrel Tea (Hibiscus Tea)
This is a recipe for a pleasant drink that is sweet and sour, prepared from hibiscus flowers, or what Caribbean folks call “sorrel.” Note: not to be confused with sorrel, the evergreen, leafy plant. This tea has been well-steeped and blended with aromatics and spices to create a rich, delicious, and festive cup. A classic Jamaican beverage, sorrel is commonly prepared at Christmas, consumed throughout the holiday season, or enjoyed year-round.
Like many beverages, sorrel tea may be poured in several ways to fit your mood. Serve sorrel hot as a herbal tea or cold as a beverage.and as an alcoholic drink (wine or rum is the preferred choice in Jamaican culture).
Let’s Talk About Hibiscus (all over the world)
A vivid, crimson red/magenta hue and an equally brilliant tart and sweet flavor are two distinguishing features shared by a range of beverages, depending on the culture or region of the world. There are several names for this lovely hibiscus beverage around the world.
Bissap, a tea made from hibiscus leaves, is popular in Senegal and other parts of West Africa. Agua de Jamaica is the name for hibiscus tea in Latin America. Let’s move on to Ghana, where it’s known as Sobolo, and Nigeria, where it’s called Zobo. Lastly, hibiscus is referred to as sorrel throughout the Caribbean, particularly in Jamaica. I shall refer to it as such from now on as that is how I was raised. Alright, let’s get started! 🙌🏯
Ingredients Needed For This Recipe
- Dried sorrel: When I make sorrel tea, I use dried sorrel nearly entirely. Although fresh sorrel can be used, I think it’s simpler to get dried sorrel. You can usually get dried sorrel, often called flor de Jamaica, in your local Latin American or Caribbean stores.
- For the strongest taste of fresh ginger, I suggest purchasing it from your neighborhood Caribbean market. Since we’ll be filtering the tea at the end, I don’t think it’s important to peel or grate the ginger in advance. Nevertheless, I do advise using a hammer to smash the ginger open so that the sorrel tea steeps with all of its flavor.
- Cozy, fragrant spices: Cardamom pods, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and whole allspice berries provide a chef’s kiss of flavor.
- Another product that is frequently seen in Caribbean stores is demerara sugar. It is a kind of cane sugar with a coarse grain and less refinement, making it less processed and thought to be healthier. If this item is unavailable, use equal parts of any other brown sugar. If not, you can use agave nectar or honey to sweeten to taste.
- Lemon, lime, and orange zest and peels (along with the juice!) are delicious.
- Water is essential for brewing tea and extracting its characteristics.
How To Make Caribbean Sorrel Tea
- Dried sorrel, sliced ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, allspice berries, and sugar should all be combined in a large stockpot. After adding two quarts of water, cover and thoroughly mix the ingredients.
- Heat to a boil on a medium setting. Once boiling, remove from heat. Next, add the zest and peels of the citrus fruits and the lemon juice, and thoroughly whisk to blend.
- For deep, maximal flavor, cover the pot securely with a lid and let soak for one to two days at room temperature. Allow tea to steep for at least two hours if you would want to drink it sooner.
- After carefully straining the tea through a fine-mesh sieve, dispose of the solid tea leaves. Taste the tea and add extra sugar if necessary to suit your taste preferences.
- Transfer the sorrel tea into one or more containers that have the ability to be sealed tightly. Bottles should be closed and placed in the refrigerator to completely cool.
- For a refreshing drink, serve sorrel tea straight up or over ice. Garnish with mint leaves or lime slices, if you’d like. Enjoy!
What Does Sorrel Taste Like?
- The flavor of sorrel, also known as the roselle (hibiscus) plant, is earthy, flowery, and sour, with a hint of sweetness that is similar to that of pomegranate or cranberries. The rich, vivid red calyces (sepals) of this sorrel tea give it a stunning, natural hue.
- The flavors of this sorrel drink are well-rounded because to the ginger, citrus notes, brown sugar, and fragrant spices. Everything harmonizes and combines harmoniously to provide a delightful punch that is both refreshing and gratifying.
- ⇐ You guys should try this sorrel tea. Ample sweetness, zesty ginger punch, citrus bursts, and a big dose of acidic acidity come together in this dish.🤤 SWOON
Let It Steep, Let It Steep, Let It Steep
Hey guys, the steeping procedure is where the magic of sorrel tea is found. I’ve designed this recipe to steep for one to two days. You see, your batch will be more powerful and delicious the longer this tea steeps. I suggest steeping for at least two hours if you’re in a hurry. But pay attention, I’m not lying when I tell you to steep your sorrel for a longer time.For the greatest sorrel, it’s crucial ❤🏾
Can I Use Fresh Sorrel?
Sure, However, you will need a lot more fresh sorrel (roselle buds) than what is called for in the recipe if you choose to utilize it that way. Compared to dried sorrel, fresh sorrel is milder in flavor and paler in hue. Also, fresh sorrel is typically cultivated on-site or purchased at farmers markets. Just remember to always rinse it well before using!
Boozy Sorrel Drink (Jamaican Rum Punch)
Combine this sorrel tea with additional alcohol to make it an alcoholic version! In Jamaican tradition, sorrel is flavored and paired with Appleton Jamaican Rum or Wray & Nephew White Ovenproof Rum. When considering which rum punch to prepare, I love to use either one (excellent for entertaining!). Use them for real Jamaican rum punch or any other rum that suits your palate, ayyyeee.
Tips + Tricks, Notes, & FAQs About This Recipe
You could have further inquiries concerning this recipe for sorrel tea. As with previous recipes, my advice is to follow the directions exactly as they are listed on the recipe card that is just below. However, the following additional information may be useful to you:
- When working with steeped sorrel, use caution since it has a high pigmentation and may readily stain whatever it comes into contact with, such as clothing, porous surfaces, kitchen towels, etc.
- Sweetener types: While demerara sugar is my personal favorite, agave, coconut sugar, honey, and even maple syrup are other excellent options for use in recipes.
- Add fruit: Sliced or diced fruit, such as oranges and pineapples, will give the dish a more tropical feel. After straining, put them into the drink.
- Keeping sorrel: This recipe yields two quarts of tea made with sorrel. Glass jars and bottles work well for me; you can use mason jars, carafes, swing-top bottles, or any other container or pitcher that has an airtight lid.
- Is sorghum nutritious? The health advantages of sorrel are numerous! Its numerous health advantages include lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, fighting inflammation, fighting bacteria, and being high in antioxidants.
Storing & Serving Sorrel Tea
This sorrel cocktail tastes best served cold over a large tumbler of ice. Drinking something cool and refreshing like this always feels good. Enjoy your glassware with a little razzle dazzle added by garnishing it with sliced limes or mint leaves! If you want, you may also serve this tea hot as a herbal tea.
Storage: Sorrel tea may be kept for a week in the refrigerator if it is always sealed with an airtight lid. Well shaken before serving.
More Smoothies You Might Like
Caribbean Spiced Sorrel Tea (Hibiscus Tea)
- 2 cups dried sorrel hibiscus flowers
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped ginger pieces pounded open with a mallet
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 2 cardamom pods lightly crushed- optional
- 1 1/2 cups demerara sugar plus more to taste (see notes)
- grated zest or peels from 1 medium orange
- grated zest or peels from 1 small lime
- grated zest or peels & juice from 1 medium lemon
- 2 quarts water
For serving & garnishing sorrel tea- optional:
- sliced lime mint leaves
- Combine: Place the chopped ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, dried sorrel, cardamom (if using), and sugar in a large stockpot. After adding two quarts of water to the solids, thoroughly mix the ingredients.
- Bring to a boil over a medium heat source. Remove the tea from the fire as soon as it begins to boil. Next, add the zest and peels of the citrus fruits and the lemon juice, and thoroughly whisk to blend.
- Steep: For deep, maximal flavor, cover the pot securely with a lid and leave it at room temperature for one to two days. Allow tea to steep for at least two hours if you would want to drink it sooner.
- Pour the tea through a fine-mesh sieve, being careful to remove the tea solids. Taste the tea and add extra sugar if necessary to suit your taste preferences.
- Two quarts of sorrel tea can be bottled using this recipe. Glass bottles work best for me; you can use mason jars, carafes, swing-top bottles, or any other pitcher or container you have that has an airtight lid. Leaving an inch of headroom for shaking, carefully pour the sorrel tea into the vessel or vessels. Bottles should be closed and placed in the refrigerator to completely cool.
- Shake thoroughly before serving sorrel tea either straight up or over ice for a cool treat. Garnish with sliced lime or mint leaves, if you’d like. Have fun! Remark: this tea can also be sipped hot as a herbal tea.
- Store: Sorrel tea may be kept for a week in the refrigerator if it is always covered with an airtight lid. Sip your beverage hot or cold.
- Please read the blog article and notes accompanying the video lesson through to the end for the best chance of success with the recipe.
- I suggest using Demerara sugar, brown sugar, honey, or agave nectar to sweeten sorrel tea until it reaches your preferred sweetness.
- Include alcohol: You are welcome to add your preferred rum to your sorrel, such as Wray & Nephew White Ovenproof Rum or Appleton Rum (for a true Jamaican rum punch).