Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Traditional Caribbean Christmas Drink

Gosh! I love new experiences and new discoveries along the fruit and veggie line! I was visiting my usual West Indian fruit and veggie shop this week when I saw these strange red fruit for sale. I was told that it was 'Sorrel' - hmmm. A discussion then followed, I know sorrel to be a green leafy herb like spinach that you make into a sauce and serve with fish... er no, not this one! This sorrel is prepared from the red sepals of the Roselle plant (hibiscus sabdariffa). Traditionally available at Christmas it is used all over the Caribbean to make a Sorrel Drink. From the recipes I have found, it looks as if you pour boiling water over them, adding spices such as ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and oranges and lots of sugar. Leave this mixture to steep for a couple of days. This sweet drink can be drunk chilled with ice, but can also be laced with quantities of Caribbean rum.... looks like I might be having a merry Christmas after all!

11 Comments:

At 5:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is the "hibiscus tea" ingredient that was in the news recently for lowering blood pressure.

 
At 3:35 PM, Anonymous easygardener said...

That's new to me too - good luck with your experiment. Lacing it with rum sounds good!

 
At 4:27 AM, Blogger Sylvana said...

When in doubt, haul out the rum!

I would never have recognized this as hibiscus. I have heard of hibiscus being used in the tropics to make a very healthy tea.

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger Maggie said...

We have planted some rosella bushes( hibiscus subdantta) or Queensland jam plant. They get to 2 metres high and the fruit is used in jams and drinks. I think the mexicans use rosella it in tea and as red colouring in cooking.
Sounds like a good punch, we have an aussie rum called bunderberg rum made in Queensland where the Rosella bushes grow best. Enjoy and have a happy christmas from all of us in sunny South Australia

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Captain Tongo said...

Happy Christmas, Matron.

The Captain.

 
At 9:19 PM, Blogger primrozie said...

I use the flower petals for tea. I add rose hips, spices and orange peel. I never thought of adding rum.....but some spiced rum sounds interesting!

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger Aerie-el said...

Those are way cool looking! How did the Sorrel drink turn out?

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Aerie-el.. the sorrel drink was really wonderful. Lots of bright red colour and a wonderful flavour. Will definitely try it again and it is supposed to have real health benefits too!

 
At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Als said...

I am from Trinidad and Tobago where sorrel is drink is one of the best drinks at christmas time. Christmas would not be christmas without my mom's homemade sorrel! It's delicious with or without alcohol. BTW where can I get some????

 
At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Hillingdon Plumbing said...

I've heard of these before but never tried one myself. Where would I be able to buy some from?

 
At 4:48 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Hillingdon Plumbing - you might be able to get some from a Caribbean shop, or at Brixton market.

 

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