This Guyanese Style Sorrel drink recipe is made with sorrel blossoms and warm spices, typically served during the holiday season. Although this Carribean beverage is popular around Christmas time, it can be enjoyed year-round.
Guyanese Style Sorrel Drink
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).
Why You’ll Love This Guyanese Style Sorrel Drink Recipe
- Festive: If you’re at a Carribean get-together, whether it’s Christmas day or a party, it’s very likely that this will be served. To me, it’s always associated with a good time.
- Refreshing: Remember when I said this isn’t limited to the holidays? Nothing is more satisfying than ice cold sorrel on a hot summer day. It’s sweet, tart, and the perfect way to quench your thirst!
- Customizable: Across the Carribean, you will come across many variations of this sorrel recipe. Feel free to mix and match ingredients to make your best sorrel!
What’s the Difference Between Guyanese Style Sorrel and Jamaican Sorrel?
Traditionally, in Guyana, 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 allspice, while Guyanese sorrel often only includes cinnamon and cloves.
- Guyanese Style Sorrel Drink
- Why You’ll Love This Guyanese Style Sorrel Drink Recipe
- What’s the Difference Between Guyanese Style Sorrel and Jamaican Sorrel?
- Ingredients for Guyanese Style Sorrel Drink
- Fresh Versus Dried Sorrel Blossoms
- How to Make Sorrel
- Tips for the Best Sorrel Recipe
- Recipe Variations
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Guyanese Style Sorrel Drink
Ingredients for Guyanese Style Sorrel Drink
Sweet, spiced, and floral, this beverage comes together with just a few key ingredients.
- Sorrel blossoms: I use dried.
- Spices: 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.
- Whole Cloves: This has a subtle sweetness with a warm depth.
- Demerara Sugar: I love using this coarse cane sugar.
- Dried Orange Peel: This adds a citrus twist.
See recipe card for quantities.
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.
How to Make Sorrel
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.
Add Other Ingredients
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.
Sweeten and Set Overnight
When the mixture is completely cool, add the sugar and mix until the sugar completely dissolves. Then let sit overnight or for at least 8 hours. Then strain with a fine mesh strainer or a strainer lined with muslin.
Serve chilled or over ice.
Store the sorrel drink in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Tips for the Best Sorrel Recipe
- Enjoy sorrel hot (like tea or a hot toddy) or cold (like iced tea).
- Don’t skip the steeping process. This isn’t a quick recipe. The ingredients need time to mingle for depth of flavor. It can steep for up to 3 days.
- The longer you steep sorrel, the more tart the flavor. But don’t worry — you can always adjust the taste by adding a sweetener.
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.
Rum: Make it an adult beverage by adding a little (or a lot). You can swap rum for brandy or whiskey.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Carribean people refer to the hibiscus flower as sorrel. (Don’t confuse sorrel drink with the green herb of the same name.)
In the Caribbean, we call it Sorrel Blossoms but the rest of the world knows it as Hibiscus flowers or flor de Jamaica.
Guyanese Style Sorrel Drink
- Large Stockpot
- 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 1/4 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 strainer or a strainer lined with muslin.
- Serve chilled or over ice.
The information listed in the recipe card is an estimate provided by an online nutrition tool. The tool evaluates ingredient names and amounts then makes calculations based on the number of servings listed for the recipe. It is provided as a general guideline and not as a precise calculation. For precise nutrition information please feel free to add the ingredients to your preferred nutrition calculator or consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist.