A Grenada Holiday Tradition: Sorrel

Part of the hibiscus family, sorrel (aka roselle) can be found growing both cultivated and wild around Grenada. During the holiday season, a delicious traditional drink is made from the flower of the plant. Compared by some as similar to apple cider, the drink is enjoyed cold, and is simultaneously refreshing and comforting. If you did not grow up drinking sorrel drinks, we promise it will soon be a holiday favorite.

Sorrel Drink

Image source: National Library of Jamaica

There are many different recipes for sorrel drinks. Starting with the basic ingredients of dried sorrel leaves, water and sugar, the drink is often spiced up with locally grown spices including ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Some make it an adult beverage by adding rum to their mix.

Naturally Grown Sorrel

Image source: National Library of Jamaica

Here we share with you our favorite recipe. Be sure to try some when you visit Grenada!

Sorrel Drink

  • 2.5 litres water
  • 1 lb dried sorrel leaves, picked over to remove any other flowers
  • 3 cinnamon sticks/large pieces of cinnamon bark
  • Handful of whole cloves
  • Peel of one orange
  • 2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • Sugar to taste (we start with a quarter cup)
  1. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir, allowing the mixture to return to a boil and boil for one minute.
  3. Turn off heat and cover. Allow the mix to steep covered for three hours, or overnight.
  4. Strain the mixture into a glass container (as it will stain plastic) and taste for sweetness. Add more sugar if desired. Discard the solids after straining.
  5. Store sorrel drink in the refrigerator, and serve chilled (over ice if preferred).

 

Insider tips:

 Add sugar and gelatin to the mixture to make sorrel jam.
For a cool treat, enjoy the sorrel sorbet that is served at Laluna during the holiday season.
Turn the sorrel drink into a sorrel rum punch by adding some locally produced Grenada rum and a dusting of nutmeg on top. Cheers!