Delicious Sorrel Drink Recipe (Sorrel Juice or Roselle Tea)

Sorrel drinks are enjoyed especially around Christmas time in T&T, Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. It is made by brewing sorrel (or roselle) sepals with warming spices like cinnamon and clove for 20 minutes before leaving to steep for 1 hour (to overnight).

Once strained, sweetened and chilled, the drink has a glorious red color and a spiced, tangy, cranberry-like taste. Find more drinks like this on the blog.

2 glasses of sorrel drink with ice and a jug of sorrel with a small christmas tree leaf and strained sorrel bits in a white bowl

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Ingredients for sorrel drink

For this recipe, I used:

  • fresh sorrel: also called roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), flor de Jamaica, and hibiscus, the red sepals are used for brewing the drink. Red, dark red, and white varieties can be used for this recipe. Here I’m using the dark red variety. If fresh sorrel isn’t available, try 100 grams of dried sorrel (available on Amazon).
  • spices: I used fresh West Indian bay leaves, star anise, whole cloves and a cinnamon stick. You can also use ginger, nutmeg, orange peels, orange halves and more. It depends on your taste and spice preferences.
  • water: for brewing.
  • sugar: for sweetening.

Equipment for this recipe

You’ll need a strainer for making this drink. I do also recommend using gloves when removing the seeds. This protects your hands from any prickly hairs on the sorrel and from being stained by the red pigment.

Watch how to make sorrel (Video)

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZM6PqvXAH/

How to make this sorrel drink recipe

Step 1: Remove the green seeds inside the sorrel. To do this, run a small knife around the base of the sorrel, then pull the seed out. Discard the seeds. Note, you can leave the seeds in, wash and brew with the spices before straining. But if you want to use the sepals to make jam or chutney after making the drink, then you should remove the seeds.

Step 2: Wash the red sorrel sepals to remove any dust or possible critters.

dark red sorrel cleaned in a stainless steel bowl

Step 3: Add the washed sorrel sepals to a large pot with the water and spices.

sorrel, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaves in a pot on the stove for making sorrel drink

Step 4: Place on medium heat and leave to boil for 20 minutes.

brewing sorrel drink showing dark red lather on the surface of the water in the pot

Step 5: Remove from the heat and leave to steep for 1 hour. You can leave it to steep overnight if you like but the drink will be darker and more tangy.

Step 6: Strain the sorrel. Keep the strained sorrel bits to make jam, chutney and even sorrel fruit cake. Find more sorrel recipes here.

Step 7: Sweeten the drink to your liking and serve chilled.

2 glasses of sorrel drink with ice and a jug of sorrel with a small christmas tree leaf and strained sorrel bits in a white bowl with 2 roses

Sorrel drink recipe

Sorrel drink

This sorrel drink is a brewed, spiced hibiscus recipe made especially for Christmas in Trinidad, Jamaica, and the Caribbean. It has a glorious red color and a spiced, tangy, cranberry-like taste.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Steep Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: sorrel drink
Servings: 8
Calories: 312kcal
Author: Ros Singh

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs fresh sorrel
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 cloves
  • liters water
  • 1 cup sugar

Equipment

  • strainer

Instructions

  • Run a small knife around the base of the sorrel. Pull the seeds out. Discard the seeds.
  • Wash the sorrel sepals thoroughly.
  • Add the sorrel to a large pot. Add spices and water.
  • Place pot on medium heat.
  • Leave for 20 minutes to come to a rolling boil.
  • Turn off the heat. Leave to steep for 1 hour.
  • Strain. Keep the strained sepals to make other recipes.
  • Mix the drink with sugar.
  • Refrigerate and serve chilled.

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