Jamaican Sorrel for #SundaySupper

Dec 16, 2012 by

There is always something new going on in my kitchen.  This beverage is a big deal…to the husband. Sorrel is a drink he loves and until now, he had to depend on someone giving it to us as a gift or going to Jamaica to have the real authentic drink. Sorrel is a popular beverage to have during the Christmas season. I’ll confess ~ I never really liked sorrel. Give me some other tropical drink. Give me soursop juice, carrot juice or fruit punch. Just not sorrel. Well, it seems that my taste is changing. I don’t know what I was thinking. Sorrel is amazing! Around this time of year in Jamaica, most households, family gatherings or formal gatherings will have Sorrel in their selection of beverages.

Today’s #SundaySupper theme is Holiday Drinks and Appetizers and our host is Connie from The Foodie Army Wife. A big shout out to my Bestie for giving me “The Real Taste Of Jamaica” by Enid Donaldson! It’s getting good use! I was happy to have it so I could share this recipe today. Please be sure to check out the other beverages and appetizers brought to you by the #SundaySupper family. You’ll need ideas if you are hosting or attending a holiday gathering.

Everyone that I’ve asked makes sorrel a little differently. Some people add a little wine to it. Some add a “little” White Rum, which is true in most cases. I didn’t do too much adapting but I plan to tweak it a bit more on the next round. I’ll add more ginger and just a little less sugar. This was a bit sweet for me but easily rectified by diluting it and adding ice. Sorrel is best served ice-cold. For my household, I omitted the rum because I wanted to be able to drink it at any time during the day, and also I wanted my children to be able to taste it. My children drank it several times, and that truly made me happy.


Jamaican Sorrel-9

Jamaican Sorrel



Jamaican Sorrel

A traditional Jamaican Beverage for the Christmas Holiday Season


  • 3 Cups Dried Sorrel
  • 1 inch Root Ginger, shredded
  • 12 Whole Cloves
  • 5 Pimento Leaves
  • 6 Cinnamon Leaves
  • 12 Cups Boiling Water
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Freshly squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Rice


  1. Rinse the Sorrel sepals in a strainer under cold water for just a few minutes
  2. In a very large pot, add sorrel, ginger, rice grains, cloves pimento leaves and cinnamon leaves
  3. Pour boiling water over the contents of the pot and cover for 24 hours
  4. Strain the liquid into another large pot and add sugar and lime juice
  5. Stir to combine
  6. Transfer into bottles and chill
  7. Serve ice cold


This yields just over 2 litres of sorrel (optional) 1/4 Cups White Rum can be added to the pot after the sorrel has been strained and sweetened


So some of you may be wondering…”What is Sorrel?”. Jamaican Sorrel is a type of Hibiscus plant (Hibiscus Sabdariffa). The sepals are used either fresh or dried to make a refreshing cold beverage or a hot tea. Sorrel can also be used to make Jams and Jellies. Sorrel is seasonal and is ready around December-January, making it the perfect holiday beverage.


Jamaican Sorrel Collage


This is a very important step. Steeping the Sorrel for at least 24 hours allows for a very rich, full-bodied liquid. I allowed mine to steep a little longer. I love all the natural ingredients that make up this drink. If unsweetened Sorrel wasn’t so extremely sour, I’d omit/reduce the sugar. But the sugar is a very necessary component. Substitutions will ruin this drink.


Jamaican Sorrel-7



Once strained, sweetened and chilled – Sorrel is ready to be enjoyed!


Jamaican Sorrel-21

Jamaican Sorrel



The perfect glass of Sorrel …


Jamaican Sorrel-11

Jamaican Sorrel



Sorrel is an excellent gift. It can be made with or without alcohol – either way, it is extremely enjoyable. It can also be kept in the fridge for a long period of time! Especially with the addition of rum as a preservative.



Jamaican Sorrel-16

Jamaican Sorrel – Gift



Holiday Cocktails


Holiday Appetizers or Hors d’oeuvres



Do you have a favorite dish or beverage to take to a party?  Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day during#SundaySupper on December 16th.  

We’d also love to feature your recipe for holiday parties on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board to share them with all of our followers, too.

** Due to the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut, we will not be having a live chat this Sunday December 16, 2012. Our hearts and prayers go out to the souls lost and the affected families. **

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  1. I love that Sorrel can be made with or without alcohol… what a wonderful gift for friends this season.
    Family Foodie recently posted..Baked Brie Cheese with Praline Sauce #SundaySupperMy Profile

  2. I’ve never had sorrel before. I know if you shared this recipe it has to be good. I’m looking for it in the store because I want to try it now.
    Renee recently posted..Gluhwein – German Mulled Wine for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  3. I would loveto try this! And your photo are gorgeous!
    Jen @ Juanita’s Cocina recently posted..Fried Green Beans with Wasabi Ranch ~ #SundaySupper Christmas Apps & Drinks Party!My Profile

  4. Wow, this looks like a perfect housewarming gift for the holidays!
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious recently posted..Blurb Giveaway!My Profile

  5. Excellent post bestie!!! You are so right … substitution will ruin this drink. Glad you were able to make it for the family and that I could play a part :) I am sure your counterparts in the food bloggers fraternity who try this recipe will enjoy this Jamaican Christmas traditional beverage!! Love you!
    Nioka recently posted..And Marketing Lives OnMy Profile

  6. I have never seen this before. Thank you so much for sharing. Your pictures are outstanding!!
    Tara recently posted..Cherry Bomb for Holiday Drinks and Appetizers #SundaySupperMy Profile

  7. I confess I’ve never heard of sorrel, and it sounds like I need to track some of this dried flower down. This drink looks perfect for the season Where do I find it? Also the pimento and cinnamon leaves? Do you get them online?
    The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Boozy Pumpkin Bread CelebrationMy Profile

    • Susan, I bought the dried sorrel, pimento leaves as well as the cinnamon leaves at my local West Indian/Caribbean Supermarket. I know that sorrel may be challenging to find but I understand that it is available online. I did a quick check on Amazon and its available there. Its cheap and easy to make.
      lovelypantry recently posted..Jamaican Sorrel for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  8. I have been very curious about this since I saw the title this week. Wow – this looks so amazing! I do believe a trip to the herbal section is in order for me! Thank you for sharing it :)
    Conni Smith recently posted..Drunk Moose Meatballs | It’s a #SundaySupper Holiday EventMy Profile

  9. I had this once I think but never made it!
    Sarah Reid, RHNC (@jo_jo_ba) recently posted..Potato Leek Soup for #SundaySupper HolidaysMy Profile

  10. Never heard of this drink, but it sounds like a wonderful spiced festive wine! Gorgeous color!
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen recently posted..Mushroom Cheese Strudel #SundaySupperMy Profile

  11. How unique! I can’t say that I’ve tried anything like this before – sounds really great!
    Katie recently posted..Onion Marmalade with Bacon for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  12. I’m very intrigued by Sorrel! Never tried it or seen it but your drink sounds delicious and looks gorgeous Lyn!!
    Soni recently posted..Indian Spiced Tuna Balls (Tuna Chop) #SundaySupperMy Profile

  13. Until Lyn comes and answers all your questions, this drink is guaranteed to please. It has also been said to have great health benefits!! You will love it!!
    Nioka recently posted..And Marketing Lives OnMy Profile

  14. Liz

    What a gorgeous color, Lyn! I would love to receive this as a holiday gift…I’m so curious about its taste :)
    Liz recently posted..Muenster and Spinach Pinwheels….#SundaySupper, #HolidayDrinksandAppetizersMy Profile

  15. What a lovely color! So inviting. I’d like to try some!
    Cindys Recipes and Writings recently posted..Special Treat for Steak and Seafood LoversMy Profile

  16. What a gorgeous color – I would love to have a glass of this right now!
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts recently posted..Cranberry Fizz #SundaySupperMy Profile

  17. I have no idea what Sorrel tastes like but I love Jamaican flavours so I bet I would love this. Your photos make me want to reach in the screen and help myself to a glass
    Laura Hunter | Small Wallet Big Appetite recently posted..Cheesy Mushroom Pull Apart Bread #SundaySupperMy Profile

  18. What a fantastic drink! I think this would make an awesome gift! I like how it can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, normally I’d pick alcoholic all the way, but the bambino would think differently! Thanks for sharing.
    Tammi @ Momma’s Meals recently posted..With Saddened Hearts…..My Profile

  19. I love sorrel. I frequently cook them in sugar water and then put into champagne. Such a beautiful flower.
    Megan – I Run For Wine recently posted..Old Fashioned Swedish Meatballs for #SundaySupper Holiday Drinks & AppetizersMy Profile

  20. Hey Lyn, thanks for introducing me to sorrel. I’ve never heard of it before but with all those wonderful ingredients in it, it sounds yummy! It’s great that it can be made with or without alcohol (I’d prefer with, naturally 😉 Beautiful photos – the deep dark red really pops!
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked recently posted..Blogging Day of SilenceMy Profile

  21. What a fascinating drink and such lovely pictures. I’ve heard of sorrel before, but never knew what it was. I’m keeping an eye out for it now so we can make this drink. Thanks for sharing!
    Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere recently posted..Curry Roasted Mini PumpkinMy Profile

  22. What a beautiful drink. Looks and sounds like something I have had at Peruvian restaurants. Wonder if it is similar.
    Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips recently posted..Classic Snickerdoodles for my DadMy Profile

  23. I have had sorell with a Jamaican friend at work & always wondered how it was made. Love this simple recipe. There’s a store nearby where I can get it. Will give it a shot. looks great Lynn & love the collage you made !

  24. I’ve never heard of sorrel, so thanks for the lesson!
    Carla recently posted..Holiday Desserts Round Up 2012My Profile


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