Guyanese Style Sorrel Drink is made with dried hibiscus flower and warm spices. It is very popular around Christmas time, but can be enjoyed year round. In the Caribbean we call it Sorrel Blossoms but the rest of the world knows it as Hibiscus flowers or flor de Jamaica.
Sorrel Drink or simply sorrel is in the Holy Trinity of refreshing Caribbean drinks. Mauby and Ginger Beer being the other two drinks in the Trinity. If I had to rank these drinks Sorrel is my fave, followed by mauby and I really don't like homemade ginger beer (I know I'm disappointing many people here).
- Sorrel blossoms (I'm using dried)
- Cinnamon Stick
- Whole Cloves
- Demerara Sugar
- Dried Orange Peel
See recipe card below for exact measurements
Sorrel Blossoms: You can use fresh or dried sorrel blossom, also called hibiscus flower or flor de Jamaica. I also recently discovered a dried hibiscus flower powder that is pretty good. You can check it out at my affiliate link here.
Sugar: I'm using Demerara sugar in this recipe, because I love the flavor it adds, but you can also use granulated sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup or other alternative sugars also work.
Dried Orange Peel: If you don't have dried orange peel, adding a bit of orange zest or a few slices of oranges after you've sweetened your sorrel also works.
Choosing Spices for your Guyanese Style Sorrel
Typically we use cinnamon sticks and whole cloves in our sorrel, but some people will also add star anise. I really don't like the licorice flavor that star anise adds to beverages, so I skip this spice when making sorrel.
Fresh Versus Dried Sorrel Blossoms
In Guyana during sorrel season you can find the fresh sorrel blossoms. A bit of pruning is required before using, but most people use this to make sorrel drink. However in the US the dried hibiscus blossoms is more popular. When dried the blossoms become more potent so you need less for your sorrel versus the fresh ones.
Difference in Guyanese Style Sorrel and Jamaican Sorrel
In Guyana traditionally, we don't add ginger to our sorrel although recently I've noticed a little bit of ginger in some versions. However, in Jamaica ginger is a key ingredient in sorrel and it is not optional. That is the main difference between these two versions of sorrel. Additionally some of the spices added to sorrel may vary. Jamaicans often include the addition of all spice, while Guyanese sorrel often only includes cinnamon and cloves.
Printable Recipe Card
Guyanese Style Sorrel Drink
- 1 Cup Dried Sorrel Blossoms
- 3 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 Tablespoons Whole Cloves
- A 2-5 inch piece of dried orange peel
- 8 Cups Water
- 1 ¼ Cups Demerara Sugar Sugar to taste
- Add cinnamon sticks and whole cloves to a large stock pot on medium heat, then bring up to temperature. While the pot is coming up to temperature it will warm up the spices for a better flavor pay off
- Then add, water, orange peel and dried sorrel blossoms to the pot, increase the heat to high and bring to a rolling boil
- Allow the mixture to boil for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely
- When the mixture is completely cool, and the sugar and mix until the sugar completely dissolves. Then let sit over night or for at least 8 hours. Then strain with a fine mesh trainer or a strainer lined with muslin
- Serve chilled or over ice