How to Make Sorrel


It’s almost Christmas time. That means that thousands of Jamaican households are getting ready to brew up a batch of sorrel. It wouldn’t be Christmas without it. I’ve tried looking into why this is, but so far, I’ve come up short. The only thing I could find is that the flower is harvested in November/December. I also thing the deep red color might have something to do with it.

I started making this last year at the Martell space and it’s become a favorite. I recently hosted a lunch called 6pm In Cognac and got quite a few requests for the recipe, so I’m sharing it here. This version has a little less alcohol than I use at Martell. You can also completely omit the spirit and still end up with a great beverage. Believe it or not, that’s how most Jamaicans drink it.

If any alcohol is added, traditionally it’s a little Wray and Nephew overproof rum. I actually think the Martell VS Single Distillery works perfectly for this. The plum and lemon notes just blend perfectly with the tart and floral hibiscus. The addition of Bittermens tiki bitters adds in hints of cinnamon and allspice without overpowering the beverage the way that I find cinnamon sticks and allspice seeds do.

Make a batch and enjoy. ‘Tis the season after all.


Punch #4 (Sorrel)

1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
2 cups water
1/2 cup Martell VSSD
3/4 cup sugar (sweeten to taste)
1 large ginger root
1 lime
3 drops bittermens tiki bitters
lime slices

1. Add hibiscus, water and ginger root to large pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool.
2. Strain liquid into punch bowl and discard hibiscus and ginger.
3. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves.
4. Squeeze in lime juice from one lime, bitters and add Martell.
5. Garnish with lime slices.
6. Serve in a punch glass.