Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

A traditional must-have Christmas beverage, Sorrel has a warmly aromatic and spicy flavor thanks to the addition of cinnamon and cloves. On its own, sorrel, a member of the hibiscus family, is quite tart, but the drink, which is a lovely ruby red color, is pleasantly sweet-tart thanks to sugar. In Jamaica, ginger is added to the mix, but not in Trinidad—I find I prefer it with rather than without, so you decide. I also like my Sorrel on the tarter side, but you may choose to add more sugar. Some folks like to add rum or vodka to Sorrel to make a hibiscus cocktail.


  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 cup dried sorrel flowers*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced (optional)


  1. Place 10 cups of water and all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat, cover, and allow to steep at least 2 hours, but preferably, overnight.
  2. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher or glass bottle and store in the refrigerator. Serve chilled. Sorrel keeps for up to 1 week.

* Dried sorrel flowers can be found in Caribbean markets and online.