Jamaican sorrel drink

Sorrel Drink: Amazing Benefits In A Glass

A half a glass (100g) of sorrel drink contains 2g of Protein, 10.2g of Carbohydrates 0.1g of Fat, 17mg of Vitamin C, 150mg of Calcium and 3mg of Iron in addition to other nutrients.

What is Jamaican Sorrel Drink?

Sorrel drink is one of the best known drinks made by Jamaicans.  It is made from the sorrel plant which is a variety of hibiscus commonly known as roselle.

Sorrel plant is known by other names such as, bissap rouge, Karkaden and for de Jamaica in other countries. However the scientific name of the plant is Hibiscus sabdariffa.

Sorrel was introduced to Jamaica in the 18th century. There is still some dispute as to whether the plant came to the island from Africa or Asia.

In any case today Jamaican sorrel drink is widely known and enjoyed by people from everywhere.

Related: Difference Between Sorrel and Hibiscus Tea

Planting Sorrel In Jamaica

This species of the hibiscus framily grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is  grown from seeds.

The seeds are planted in the summer time  in Jamaica. In the fall sorrel blooms beautiful pale yellow flowers with the bright red center that is characteristic of the hibiscus family. 

Soon after, pods appear. And harvesting of the sorrel calyces starts in late November.

The pods are surrounded by dark red calyces which are stripped off and used to make sorrel drink.

The drink resembles cranberry juice and has a similarly tart taste.

 In Jamaica sorrel is traditionally served at christmas time. Sorrel drink is made with fresh calyces right from the garden.

However, leftover sorrel is dried and stored to make a great tasting drink as well.

Dried sorrel is now largely exported to North America where it is commonly used to make hibiscus tea.

Sorrel Drink Recipe (Traditional Jamaican style)

Roselle sorrel plant
Sorrel Plant
  • 8 cups of water
  • 3 cups of fresh sorrel (2 ½  dried) 
  • 4 ozs freshly grated ginger
  • Half  a cup Orange Juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 oz Allspice
  • 1 Half cup Jamaican Rum  (optional)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 oz  cinnamon) 


Bring water to boil in a large Sauce

Remove from heat and add sorrel, ginger, lemon juice, orange juice, all spice, and cinnamon.

Cover saucepan and let sit for 4 hours

Strain into a large

Sweeten to taste (and add rum)

Server over ice

IMPORTANT NOTE: The longer the drink is allowed to sit the stronger it becomes. Remaining drink should be kept in the refrigerator to avoid fermentation.

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Benefits of Drinking Jamaican Sorrel

The Roselle plant has been the subject of a number of scientific studies. Those study results how that there may be a lot of health benefits to be gained from drinking sorrel.

For example in addition to the nutrients mentioned above, one study found the roselle plant has other vitamins and minerals.

 It also found that there’s potential for extracts from Hibiscus sabdariffa to be used as treatment of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol

However more research needs to be done.

In the meantime whether it’s springtime or wintertime wherever you are, go right ahead and enjoy an ice-cold glass of Jamaican sorrel.  

Disclaimer: This website is for infromational purposes only. Nothing stated on this site is to be viewed as medical advice. Please consult with a professional healthcare provider regarding your medical treatment.

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