I can’t speak for all Caribbean cultures but I know that Jamaican and Trinidadian Christmases are not complete without Sorrel and Black/Rum Cake. Sorrel is rich drink made with steeped hibiscus flowers and flavoured with ginger, sugar and a variety of other aromatic spices. A recipe for preparing sorrel follows.
1 pound sorrel (fresh or dried)
2 to 4 ounces fresh ginger, grated (1 – 2 tablespoons ginger powder)
1/2 cup sugar
8 cups water
1/4 cup port wine
1/4 cup premium white rum (Jamaican white rum is best)
1 teaspoon ground allspice (crushed pimento berries)
1 tablespoon orange peel
2 to 3 pieces cloves
You will need a large heatproof glass or ceramic container with a lid and another large container to refrigerate the juice.
Place the sorrel and desired spices in a large heat proof glass container. Add water and ginger to a pot over high heat. Bring to a boil. When water begins to boil remove from heat and pour over the sorrel. Cover and let steep for 6 to 24 hours. After it steeps, strain sorrel into another container add sugar, wine and rum if desired.
Serve cold, with ice or at room temperature.
*If using fresh sorrel pick and wash petals thoroughly before using.*