I’m starting my 12 Days of Christmas early this year, and my first recipe is….. Spiced Caribbean Sorrel.

Spiced Caribbean sorrel is an epic beverage that is everything you could possibly want in a drink during fall and winter.

This drink has been a staple in my family, and many of my friends’ families who hail from the Caribbean for many, many years. Anytime I  have family over and I make spiced Caribbean sorrel, I have to deal with their excitement after a whiff of the sorrel and spices steeping. Their eyes dart around in anticipation, which is followed by rapid fire questions.

  • Is that sorrel?
  • What you put in it?
  • When will it be ready?

It’s so funny, but I totally get their excitement.


Spiced Caribbean Sorrel by Diverse Dinners


Spiced Caribbean sorrel is made from the petals of the sorrel plant, or as it’s more commonly known, hibiscus. I used the dried variety which is much easier to find and it also keeps for a very long time. I always buy a bunch and use it when I have friends or family visiting.

This drink has such depth of taste, but surprisingly it’s pretty simple to create. However, you will need to invest some time, to allow the dried sorrel petals to steep overnight. The added ingredients are sugar, star anise, ginger, whole allspice berries, and bitters which provide a nice sweet spiciness that opens up on the tongue. You will find it extremely difficult to have just one glass, and I would suggest you indulge and have another.

I made 2 liters of spiced Caribbean sorrel, and it lasted all of one evening. I did have a couple of glasses before I shared it though – I had to test it! Me, Jasmine and Tracy leveled what was left. We added some rum and sang along to Soul Train videos from the 70s, 80s & 90s. If we had more, we would’ve drank more. Perhaps it was good that we didn’t!


Spiced Caribbean Sorrel by Diverse Dinners


If I had a fireplace in my apartment, spiced Caribbean sorrel would be my drink of choice to drink in front of it, under a warm blanket, with some dark chocolate to chew on. It’s so warming and full flavored. Did I mention that it can be spiked with almost any liquor? Think cognac, rum (white, dark or spiced) and bourbon or whiskey. Liquors with depth of taste work best.

If you can get your hands on some sorrel, do yourself a favor and make this recipe for the holidays!


Spiced Caribbean Sorrel

Prep Time45 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 2 liters


  • 4 cups dried sorrel or hibiscus
  • 1 piece fresh ginger peeled and smashed approx. 1 1/2" x 2"
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp whole allspice berries
  • 4 pints boiling water
  • 1 piece fresh ginger peeled approx. 1" x 1 1/2"
  • Sugar or sweetener to taste

Equipment & Utensils

  • Large saucepan or stock pot with cover
  • 2 large mason jars or containers with sealable covers should hold approx. 1 1/2 liters each


  • Place sorrel, smashed ginger, star anise and allspice in large pan.
  • Carefully add boiling water, 1 pint at a time, then stir.
  • Cover and allow to steep overnight.
  • When liquid is cool store in the fridge.
  • Once sorrel has steeped overnight remove from fridge and strain into mason jars.
  • Ensure that you have equal amounts of sorrel in each mason jar.
  • Grate remaining ginger into mason jars in equal parts.
  • Sweeten with your preferred sweetener and store for at least 1 hour.
  • To serve, add 2-3 dashes of bitters to each glass, shake up sorrel then strain into glasses on top of bitters.
  • Serve with or without ice.