Recipes – Sorrel: Jamaican me Crazy

I feel it is our duty to shed light on the unsung heroes of food. Case in point: Sorrel, or a variety of hibiscus. To be more specific, I’m referring to its petals, although people eat the stalk and leaves as well. Sorrel is one of the most under the radar drinks. Simple as it may seem, when made right, it tastes phenomenal. I like mine with a little clove and lots of ginger. The closest comparison I can make in terms of flavor is a spicy black currant, with a bit of pucker after. I’ve been told by friends near and dear to me me that the addition of rum takes this drink to another stratosphere, but I have yet to try mine that way. Put it this way, my dear friend of almost 20yrs who was born and raised in Jamaica insisted that sorrel was not related to the hibiscus. Later on, he acknowledged defeat upon futher investigation. Thus, this I felt compelled to write this post.

Jamaican me crazy! I want some right now!

Be forewarned: in massive doses, sorrel drinks can be extremely addictive. I have had the pleasure of having some made for me (by surprise) from none other than @beeboopah. She made me a whole quart and I nearly wet my pants at the sight of this heavenly concoction. I then proceeded to savor every sip so I could prolong my high. Sorrel is so CRACKTACULAR that If I needed a blood transfusion, I would wish for an IV drip of this. People wouldn’t be able to differentiate it from blood and I could die a happy man.

Here’s a recipe for success. ‘Christmas’ refers to the added allspice, cinnamon. Perfect for NYC Winters!

If you are lazy, I know of some good pre made Sorrel in FiDi. Be mindful that Veronica’s has much more kick to it, if that’s how you roll. Don’t bother with the carbonated sorrel in the soda bottles, unless you want to be defriended by us.
1. Shirley Balima’s West Indian Food Cart ($2/16oz) – across 33 Whitehall St
2. Veronica’s Kitchen ($3/16oz) – corner of Pine/Front St

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