Caribbean Sorrel Recipe

Caribbean Sorrel Recipe

Sorrel is a popular holiday drink in the Caribbean, especially during Christmas. It's made from the sepals of the sorrel flower (hibiscus sabdariffa) and has a tart, cranberry-like, floral flavour. Here's a recipe to make sorrel:
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Elaborate Ingredient List:
  • 2 cups of dried sorrel
  • 10-12 cups of water
  • 2-3 slices of fresh ginger
  • 10-12 pimento seeds (allspice)
  • 4-6 cloves
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups of sugar (optional, can be substituted for cane sugar, etc)
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Simple Ingredient List:
  • 2 cups of dried sorrel
  • 10-12 cups of water (can be subbed for alkaline water, etc)
  • 2-3 slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 cups of sugar (optional, can be substituted for cane sugar, etc)‎ 
Additional (Optional) Ingredients:
  • Orange peel or orange juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Rum (optional, for adults)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or mixed essence
  • 2 tablespoons of sea moss gel or 1 tablespoon of sea moss powder


  1. Wash the Sorrel: Rinse the dried sorrel thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or debris.

  2. Boil the Sorrel: In a large pot, bring the water to a boil, and then add the dried sorrel, and dry ingredients - save the sugar or sweetener for later. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes. The sorrel sepals should soften and the water will turn dark red.

  3. Optional: Let steep for about 4 hours or overnight, covered.

  4. Sweeten: Turn off the heat and let the sorrel mixture cool. Once it has cooled, strain the liquid into a jug or container, removing the solids. Squeeze sorrel flowers and ingredients, then discard. Add sugar/sweetener to the strained liquid, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Adjust the amount of sugar to your taste; you can make it sweeter or less sweet as you like. This will also be when you add in your AnGel Moss sea moss.

  5. Flavour Variation: Some people like to add a strip of orange peel or a small amount of orange juice to enhance the flavour. This is optional but can give the sorrel an extra citrus note. This goes for all the optional ingredients mentioned.

  6. Chill: Refrigerate the sorrel until it's cold. It's best served chilled.

  7. Serve: Pour the chilled Jamaican Sorrel into glasses, and you can add a shot of rum for adults if you like. Garnish with a slice of lime or orange, and you're ready to enjoy! Sorrel can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for several days or frozen if necessary.

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Herbal Benefits:

Sorrel is also known for its potential health benefits, which include:

  • Rich in Antioxidants: Sorrel is a good source of antioxidants, particularly vitamin C and anthocyanins. Antioxidants help protect your cells from oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

  • Heart Health: Some studies suggest that regularly consuming sorrel may help lower blood pressure. The anthocyanins and other compounds in sorrel can have a positive effect on heart health by reducing cholesterol levels and improving blood vessel function.

  • Weight Management: Sorrel is often consumed as a low-calorie beverage, making it a good choice for those watching their calorie intake. It may also support weight management by helping to reduce cravings.

  • Liver Health: The antioxidants in sorrel may support liver health by protecting the liver from oxidative damage and supporting its natural detoxification processes.

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Sorrel has been used traditionally to alleviate inflammatory conditions. The anti-inflammatory compounds it contains may help reduce inflammation in the body.

  • Digestive Health: Sorrel has been used in traditional medicine to alleviate digestive issues. It may help with digestion and alleviate symptoms of indigestion.

  • Kidney Health: Some studies suggest that sorrel may have a diuretic effect, which can be beneficial for kidney health by increasing urine production and potentially helping to flush out toxins from the body.

  • Potential Anti-Cancer Properties: While more research is needed, some studies have suggested that the compounds in sorrel may have anti-cancer properties. These compounds could inhibit the growth of cancer cells and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

  • Rich in Nutrients: Sorrel is a good source of essential nutrients like vitamin C, iron, calcium, and B vitamins, which are important for overall health and well-being.

  • Hydration: Consuming sorrel tea or beverages made from sorrel can contribute to your daily fluid intake, helping to keep you hydrated.

It's important to note that while sorrel has potential health benefits, it can interact with certain medications and may not be suitable for everyone. Additionally, it should be consumed in moderation. Some people might experience side effects such as stomach discomfort, changes in stool, and allergic reactions. If you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating sorrel into your routine diet.

As with any dietary supplement or herbal remedy, it's essential to use sorrel in moderation and as part of a balanced diet to reap its potential health benefits.

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