Dreaming of a warm-weather vacation this holiday season? Even if you can’t drop everything and jet off on a beach adventure, you can bring a taste of the tropics to your Christmas menu with sorrel punch.
Sorrel punch can be found throughout the Caribbean and in many Latin American countries, but it’s particularly popular in Jamaica as a Christmas cocktail.
Sorrel, not be confused with the green French sorrel, refers to the red bud of the Roselle plant, also known as the hibiscus flower. The ingredient is called many different names, so be on the lookout when you go to the grocery store. It could be called Flor de Jamaica, sorrel or dried hibiscus flower.
There are many ways to prepare and enjoy sorrel, but during the holiday season, sorrel is boiled with water, and cane sugar, fresh ginger and rum are added. The finished drink has a brilliant red color, making it a great holiday cocktail. There is a similar recipe in Trinidad and Tobago, but instead of adding ginger, they season it with cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves.
In Jamaica, sorrel is believed to cure almost everything: high blood pressure, colds and coughs, hangovers (though the alcoholic version may cause these rather than cure) and more. It’s even supposed to help with weight loss. Sorrel is high in vitamin C, which for me is great news! I don’t know about you, but I could use as much Vitamin C during the cold winter months as I can possibly get.
Where to Buy Sorrel
- Oh! Nuts
- Your local health food store
- Any grocery store that carries West Indian products
Sorrel Punch Recipes
Eden Grinshpan graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in London with the “Grande Diplome” in both Pastry and Cuisine. After graduating she went to India to volunteer with different organizations, one of them being an orphanage called Ramanas Garden. Here she came up with the idea of raising money for the orphanage by re-opening a café, which had not been in operation for some time, and teaching the children the basics of culinary cuisine. After returning to New York City, Eden enrolled in a management program at The Institute of Culinary Education before working at the bakery, Babycakes. Eden is the co-owner of EthNicitY Productions, and hosts Eden Eats, a traveling show to find global cuisine in cities across the US. Check out Eden’s blog, Eden Eats, and follow Eden on Facebook and @EdenEats on Twitter.