Spiced Sorrel (Hibiscus blossom) Hot Toddies

If you’re anything like me, you don’t really dabble in the late-night/ early am celebrations of New Years Eve. Celebratory matters are saved for day after lunches (kids included) or weekend brunch on the first Saturday after. I don’t know what it is, but I like to drag out the excitement of a new year once we are all finding our way in it. However you celebrate, together, alone, brunch or lunch, these hot toddies from Kayon are warm delicious treats to help you kick off the year.

“If you are a native of Jamaica and grew up on the island, you’ll know that Christmastime wouldn’t be complete without a glass or two of Sorrel.

Not to be confused with the leafy green perennial herb, Sorrel is a variety of Hibiscus that made its way to the small island from West Africa. You may know it as flor de Jamaica, Hibiscus or Roselle.

Steeped in boiling hot water that has been infused with fresh root ginger, sweetened to perfection, chilled and spiked with a generous dose of Wray and Nephew overproof white rum. It’s a delicious festive drink that is simple to make.

The recipe that I’m about to share with you is not quite the traditional way of drinking sorrel, I’ve chosen to go the way of a hot toddy, I substituted white rum for a spiced rum that has been infused with Vanilla and ginger and added cardamom and star anise. However, if you’d like to experience this beverage as it is typically had, be sure to read the tips and suggestions at the end of the recipe.”

Spiced Sorrel (Hibiscus blossom) Hot Toddies

5 to 8 servings

200g dried sorrel (Dried hibiscus)

100 to 150g Fresh Root ginger

2 litres of water

250 – 360 MLS Simple syrup/ honey (to taste)

3 Star Anise

1 Cinnamon stick

4 Cardamom pods

3 Cloves

250 MLS Spiced rum (I used Red Leg Spiced Rum)

Dried orange slices (To garnish, optional)

1. Add the grated ginger, water, star anise, cloves, cardamom pod and cinnamon stick to a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow simmering for about 5 minutes. Be sure to taste the water every now and again until the strength of the ginger infusion is to your liking.

2. Remove from the heat and add the dried sorrel/hibiscus to the pan. Cover and allow to steep for about an hour or until the pan cools down.

3. Strain the mixture into another saucepan using a fine- mesh strainer. Return to the stove to reheat. Simmer for 1 minute before removing from the heat.

4. Sweeten to taste using simple syrup or honey. Add the desired amount of Spiced rum before transferring to a heat-safe pitcher or jug.

5. Pour into heat-safe mugs/glasses and garnish each mug/glass with dried orange slices, a couple of cardamom pods & star anise before serving.

Tips & Suggestions

+ If you love the flavor of ginger, use the larger amount suggested and allow to simmer in the pan of water for up to 10 minutes before adding the dried sorrel. (Keep tasting the water to gauge the strength of the ginger infusion)

+ The longer the sorrel/hibiscus is steeped the stronger the flavour will be

+ If you are making this recipe with fresh sorrel/hibiscus, the flavour will be brighter, more tart and fruitier

+ To make the traditional sorrel drink, omit the star anise, cinnamon stick and cardamom. Use White rum in place of Spiced rum and chill before serving.

+ Will store in the fridge for up to a week.

Kayon Reynalls is the founder, photographer and editor of The Supper Club Magazine. We’re so happy to have her here contributing recipes throughout the year.

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