Christmas Sorrel

A glass of sorrel shown with the emptied rum bottle filled with sorrel and an additional gallon of sorrel. Delicious!

A glass of sorrel shown with the emptied rum bottle filled with sorrel and an additional gallon of sorrel. Delicious! This recipe yields 1 gallon plus 1/2 gallon.

Sorrel is a drink typically enjoyed at Christmas time throughout the Caribbean. As a child, I enjoyed it at my Jamaican God parents home, without the rum. I knew that sorrel was something “special” because my father, who does not drink alcohol, always had a glass during the holiday season. LOL Sorrel is great for your large Christmas gathering, but please be careful! Sorrel is similar to the hibiscus plant and will stain your white counter tops and carpet. You can enjoy it hot or cold. I prefer it over lots of crushed ice with extra rum.

By the way, sorrel must steep for some time. I steep mine for at least 5-6 hours. So you may want to prepare it the night before and let it steep overnight.

Lastly, you can use any gold (dark) rum for this recipe. I prefer Bacardi Gold because it is sweet. When opening a new bottle, make sure to pour a little out for those who left us (died) this past year. 😉

Merry Christmas!!


Approximately 1 gallon of water (use a large stock pot that holds at least 5 quarts)

1 40z bag of dried sorrel leaves

5 whole cinnamon sticks

2 tablespoons whole cloves

4 cups of sugar (or more to taste)

2-4 cups of good quality rum


Empty rum bottles

Mesh strainer


Although white sugar is shown in this photograph, I often use turbinado sugar (moreno sugar brand). You may want to add 1 tablespoon of ground ginger, if you like ginger, when you add the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Notice the empty rum bottle on the left, it’s ready to be filled with sorrel.


Fill a large 5 quart stock pot with tap water (filling pot 2-4 inches from the brim).

Add whole cinnamon sticks and cloves to water. Bring water to boil.

Allow cinnamon and cloves to boil for 7-10 minutes or until water turns amber color.

dried sorrel

Add dried sorrel leaves and boil another 5-7 minutes. Cover pot using top and remove from stove.

boiling sorrelAllow sorrel to slightly cool with lip remaining on.

Once cool enough to handle (approximately 5-8 hours), but not cold, pour sorrel through mesh strainer into another 5 quart or larger pot. The cinnamon sticks, cloves, and sorrel leaves should remain in bottom of original pot.

sorrel 2

Stir in sugar to strained sorrel. Make sure sugar is well incorporated (this is why sorrel should not be too cold). You are welcome to make a simple syrup if you prefer.

If adding rum, stir in rum at this time.

Set sorrel aside, again, and allow it to cool completely.

Once cool, pour sorrel into clean rum bottles. Enjoy!

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