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Jamaican Sorrel drink recipe

Tis the Season, so I am sharing this sorrel drink recipe, a Jamaican traditional Christmas drink. Get some white rum, spices, ginger, sorrel and make it a Jamaican Christmas in your kitchen.

jamaican sorrel drink recipe

What Is It Sorrel Drink?

The Jamaican sorrel drink is a traditional Christmas beverage made from the Roselle plant. The Roselle plant is a type of hibiscus that bears a crimson red accessory fruit, which Jamaicans call Sorrel.

The sorrel fruit is picked, deseeded and boiled along with spices such as ginger, cinnamon, pimento berries (allspice) to create this Christmas drink.

In Jamaican, we use freshly picked fruit to make the drink, but if you can’t find fresh Sorrel where you are, you can easily find dried ones online or in your local supermarket.

Traditionally only drink during the festive season, but now that you can also find store-bought, it’s available to drink all year round.

Jamaican Christmas Drink

Drinking Sorrel drink at Christmas time is Jamaican tradition. You can’t spend Christmas in a Jamaican household and not drink Sorrel.

Jamaican Christmas is synonymous with Sorrel drink and rum cake. Rum is a big part of the festive season. So the sorrel drink must contain rum, lots of rum!

If you buy Sorrel drink from the store, it won’t contain rum because it’s made for everyday drinking. But when making Sorrel drink for the festive season, it must have Ray & Nephew white rum.

Jamaican Christmas drink

What Goes In It – Jamaican Sorrel drink recipe

Jamaican Sorrel drink recipe requires just six ingredients, Sorrel, ginger, pimento berries (allspice), cinnamon (this can be the leaf or stick), white rum and sugar to taste.

There are some variations to this recipe, where citrus and other spices such as star anise are added. But for this recipe, we are sticking to the traditional Jamaican Sorrel drink recipe.

Here I used fresh Sorrel fruit. The fresh Sorrel fruit gives the drink a richer flavour and a deeper red colour. So I would suggest getting fresh Sorrel if you can, but if you can’t, dry packs will do.

sorrel drink ingredients
  • Fresh sorrel – For me, fresh sorrel is better. If you are using fresh sorrel, make sure to clean it thoroughly and remove any seed before you use it.  
  • Ginger – If you can get Jamaican ginger, please do. It is much smaller in size but has a more potent taste. 
  • Pimento (Allspice) – This is a must if you want the flavour of Jamaica. You can also add a few berries to the drink when storing it. 
  • Cinnamon – Sorrel is a spiced drink, so we have to add our spices.
  • Sugar – For sweetening. I prefer brown sugar, but it does matter which type of sugar you use.
  • Rum – White rum is best for this recipe. Use Wray and Nephew to make it authentically Jamaican. 

How To Make Sorrel Drink

You may be surprised by how simple this drink is to make.

how to make jamaican sorrel drink

Preparation– If you are using fresh sorrel, make sure to give it a thorough wash before you start. Sometimes you may find sorrel fruit with seeds in the centre. Make sure to remove any seeds first.

Boiling Process – Add the sorrel to a pot of water along with the spices and put it to a boil. The amount of water should just about cover the sorrel in the pot. Too much water Once the liquid comes to a boil, turn the heat down and let it boil for another 5 to 10 minutes. 

After Cooking – Leave to steep overnight or for at least twelve hours so that the flavour from the sorrel, cinnamon, ginger and pimento (allspice) is infused in the liquid.

Make the Drink Your Way – Strain and sweeten to taste with sugar. I used brown sugar, but it doesn’t matter what type of sugar you use. The sugar also helps enhance the flavour of the spices. Now add your Rum!

The Amount Of Rum

Sorrel drink doesn’t taste or feel festive without the rum. For me, the more rum the better!

But I have two ways of considering the amount of rum I add to the drink. If I am making it for the conservative members of the family I like to add just enough rum. Something like a cocktail so that the flavour of the dink overpowers the alcohol. This way, they can drink as much as they want.

For the family members who like to turn up and can hold their own, I’m pouring in the rum. Something like a rum punch, so the rum effect is a strong as the drink’s flavour. I like it like this, for me, it’s more festive.

If you are serving this to children, you may want to add little to no rum at all.

Sorrel rum drink

Serving & Storing

This drink is best to serve cold so add your ice.

Store in the refrigerator to keep it chilled. And because there is rum in the drink, you can store it for a long time. The longest I ever kept it refrigerated was three months in a sealed bottle.


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jamaican sorrel drink recipe

Jamaican Sorrel drink recipe

Jamaican sorrel drink recipe is a must-try this holiday season. This spiced alcoholic beverage is a Jamaican traditional Christmas drink that is easy to make and taste lovely.
4.91 from 20 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: Jamaican Sorrel drink recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 212kcal
Author: Lesa

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb (453.59 g) Fresh sorrel
  • 5 oz (141.75 g) Fresh ginger Thinly sliced
  • 10 Pimento berries (allspice)
  • 1 Cinnamon stick Or three cinnamon leaves
  • 1 cup (0.24 l) White rum Or the amount of rum that you wish
  • 1 1/2 cup (300 g) Sugar Sweeten to your taste
  • 6 cups (1.89 l) Water

Instructions

  • Thoroughly wash the sorrel and pour the water away.
  • Place the washed sorrel in a stainless steel pot along with the ginger, pimento berries and 6 cups of water.
  • Bring to a boil. Boil for 5-10 minutes, then turn the heat off.
  • Leave to steep overnight or for at least 12 hours
  • Strain well
  • Sweeten to taste with sugar.
  • Add your rum and put to chill.

Notes

  1. Rum – White rum is best for this recipe, preferable Wray & Nephew. But I’m sure dark rum will also do the job.
  2. Sorrel – If you are using dried sorrel, make sure it’s the actual sorrel fruit and not dried hibiscus flowers. 
  3. Ginger – Some ginger flavour is more potent than others, so understand the ginger you decide to use. The ginger taste should not overpower the sorrel flavour.  

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Jamaican Sorrel drink recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
212
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Sodium
 
19
mg
1
%
Potassium
 
99
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
54
g
18
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
50
g
56
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
14
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

21 Comments

  1. Barry Elliot

    5 stars
    First time trying sorrel and it came out great. Thank you.

  2. Hi there, do you take the petals off of the calices or boil them whole?

  3. Sheila Davies

    5 stars
    Hi Lesa, I know it’s not Christmas yet but found your recipe and had exactly 1lb Sorrel (some frozen, some dried and some fresh) and I wanted to try the traditional method. I used a good size ‘inch’ of grated fresh ginger and will sweeten with monk fruit (to cut back on sugar!). Will definitely use white rum though!! Can’t wait for it to finish steeping. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    Definitely how my grandmother use to make it. Thanks for sharing

  5. 5 stars
    Keep up the good work. Love these authentic Jamaican recipes. Best wishes to you and family.

  6. Christine Weis

    5 stars
    Yum…that looks delicious. I really like rum. I love the color of this drink too…so Christmassy. Tried this recipe and wasn’t disappointed!

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve been on a Christmas drink kick lately. Trying different Christmas recipes and really like this one. Thank you for the recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    That sounds so good! I’ve actually never heard of this before, but I am soooo making it.

  9. 5 stars
    I’m definitely making these for New Years Eve! I love the color and the flavors.

  10. 5 stars
    When I first heard about this recipe, I thought I have to try it. This Christmas I did and the whole family loved it. Making it next Christmas too

  11. I had heard somewhere about this sorrel drink in the past but never knew the recipe. And yes the colour of the drink is so tempting. Will try it soon. Thanks for sharing !!

  12. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Definitely going to try it soon!

  13. Blair Villanueva

    5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this cool recipe! Perfect for any occasion or during the moment we just want to relax after a very long day. Cheers!

  14. Thena Franssen

    5 stars
    Made this for New Years Eve! So good and so simple! Loved it!

  15. 5 stars
    Been looking for this recipe since I first visited Jamaica and tried Sorrel drink. Made this and it came out just the way I remembered when I first tried sorrel drink. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi, I only have dried sorrel. Do I still use 1 lbs worth or less because it’s dried? Can I add cloves? Thanks so much!

    • Hi, this recipe looks great. I only have dried sorrel…do I still use 1 lbs worth or less because it’s dried? Can I add cloves to it? Thanks so much!!

  16. Del Chambers

    It would have been helpful to advise that making your sorrel drink you do not prepare sorrel using aluminum container or store in plastic bottles.
    Remembering from my Jamaican grand mother’s instructions. Sharing!!

  17. Does not tell you quantity/measurement of each ingredient

  18. Hi, I only have dried sorrel. Do I still use 1 lbs worth or less because it’s dried? Can I add cloves to it? Thanks so much!!

  19. Neville James

    Hello Lesa, You dont need rum in the Sorrel Drink Let it sit on the counter for three days or in a dark space for three days. Refrigerate and serve. You do not have to feel guilty of serving children alcohol

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