Punch in Glasses
Photograph by Jerrelle Guy. Courtesy of Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random
AuthorToni Tipton-Martin

Sorrel is “the favourite drink of Jamaicans at Christmas time, made from the sorrel plant, a low bushy shrub with red stems and calices, which comes into season toward the end of the year. No Jamaican Christmas is complete without bottles of red drink brewed with rum and ginger,” Enid Donaldson wrote in The Real Taste of Jamaica. The sorrel is brilliantly red and sweet-tart, with a delicious bite from ginger and aromas of clove and citrus. Note that the “sorrel” here is a Caribbean name for hibiscus flowers, also called jamaica in Spanish. When shopping, make sure you are getting that rather than the green herb called sorrel that tastes tartly of lemon.

Makes 2 quarts

Reprinted with permission from Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin, copyright © 2019. Photographs by Jerrelle Guy. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random.

How to Make It

1

In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts water, the hibiscus, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and orange and lemon zests to a boil over medium heat.

2

Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

3

Add the lemon juice, cover tightly, and let stand for 1 to 2 days at room temperature.

4

Strain and discard the solids.

5

Sweeten to taste with demerara sugar, honey, or agave nectar.

6

Chill thoroughly. Serve over ice and garnish with mint.

Ingredients

 2 cups dried hibiscus (sorrel) flowers
  cup peeled fresh ginger slices (¼ inch thick)
 2- to 3-inch cinnamon stick
 6 whole cloves
 ¼ cup grated orange zest
 Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
 Demerara sugar, honey, or agave nectar, to taste
 Mint leaves, for garnish

Directions

1

In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts water, the hibiscus, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and orange and lemon zests to a boil over medium heat.

2

Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

3

Add the lemon juice, cover tightly, and let stand for 1 to 2 days at room temperature.

4

Strain and discard the solids.

5

Sweeten to taste with demerara sugar, honey, or agave nectar.

6

Chill thoroughly. Serve over ice and garnish with mint.

Sorrel (Hibiscus) Tea