Sorrel Tea – Tasty and Healthy
Sorrel Tea has been associated with the celebration of the Christmas season in The Caribbean for hundreds of years, so much so that it has earned the nick-name “The Christmas Drink”. This is in part due to its red color and largely due to the fact that Christmas time is the time of year when the flowers produce the sepals used for making the sorrel tea.
Sorrel Tea is made from the sepals, of the sorrel flower is fruity and fragrant. The seed of the sorrel is covered with fine prickly hairs that eventually find their way into the pads of your fingers. They are not painful but definitely annoying!
In the Caribbean, sorrel drink is made from sepals of the roselle, the plant is claimed to have pro-health qualities due to the high contents of vitamin C and anthocyanins.
Throughout the Caribbean including Nevis, the Sorrel dink is prepared in many different ways but today I will be sharing with you how Sorrel drink is made on the beautiful island of Nevis, West Indies.
Similar in taste to hibiscus tea, sorrel becomes even more heavenly with the addition of rum. Made properly your sorrel tea should be thick and syrupy. Don’t worry though, just dilute it with some cold water, club soda, or rum when serving.
- 1 lb. fresh or dried sorrel
- 3 Quarts water
- 2 cups cane sugar
- 8 cloves
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- Clean the sorrel to remove any old leaves and bugs that may have snuck in there. Separate the sepals from the seed by cutting a round circle just below the spines, wash thoroughly. )Note: Don’t touch the seeds with your bare hands! There are some fine “hairs” that will penetrate the skin and makes for a rather uncomfortable experience.)
- Place all ingredients except sugar in a tall heat resistant pot. This is important as the mixture tends to froth and bubble up.
- Boil for approx 20 minutes or until the sepals looks whitish. Turn off the heat, cover and allow to steep for at least five hours, however overnight is preferred. Strain the mixture and add sugar to taste.
Note: I also like to add a 1/2 cup dried orange peel when boiling, and a bit of dark rum to taste never goes amiss…AFTER boiling… you don’t want the alcohol to evaporate.