Not to be confused with the vegetable of the same name from temperate countries, sorrel is a favourite West Indian drink for Christmas and New Year. Actually it’s more of a spiced, iced tea, as the juice is drawn from the red sepals of the Roselle plant (Hibiscus sabdariffa) which is commonly called sorrel in the Caribbean.
This drink is a favourite with children to whom the task of ‘picking’ sorrel (removing the red sepals from the prickly seed) is often given. The drink is usually prepared in two batches with one batch being spiked with rum for the adults. The drink needs a lot of sugar to temper the tartness of the fruit but to my mind it should not be made thick and sweet, for then it becomes sickly and cloying although some like it this way, so feel free to vary the ingredient amounts to suit your taste. Usually served chilled with ice but I had a German friend tell me that this drink reminded her of mulled wine so I imagine it could also be served warm.