June 26, 2017

cameraWatch our step-by-step video for this recipe below

In Jamaica, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without sorrel and Christmas cake. Both have rum in them … yes, we like our rum during the holidays! The sorrel flower is in full bloom at Christmastime in Jamaica so that’s one of the reasons it’s a traditional holiday favourite. It has a deep red colour and unique flavour enhanced with spices, lemon juice and rum. You can omit the rum, but I personally think it tastes better with it. For this recipe you can use fresh or dried sorrel. I use dried sorrel, which is easier to find where I live. If you’re lucky enough to find fresh sorrel just double the amount you use for this recipe.

2 ½ cups dried sorrel
3 oz fresh ginger, grated
5 pimento berries
10 cups boiling water
2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
¾ cup white rum

Makes 10 cups

1. Place sorrel, ginger and pimento berries in a large pot or mixing bowl
2. Pour boiling water over the ingredients; stir and place in fridge overnight to steep
3. Using a large strainer, pour the steeped liquid into another container; use a spoon to squeeze more liquid out of the sorrel
4. Add sugar, lemon juice and rum to sorrel and stir until sugar has dissolved
Enjoy over ice
Tip: To prevent if from fermenting, store sorrel drink in the fridge or cold cellar. 

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I’ve been cooking Jamaican food for my family for more than 50 years! Now I'm teaching my daughter Angela and you how to cook my treasured family recipes! I'm happy to be of service and love hearing from you so don't forget to leave a comment below.



  • Reply
    December 16, 2012

    Thank you for all your recipes! I think you have such a sweet soul.

    How long does it keep in the fridge?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      December 16, 2012

      Hi Keisha,
      Thank you for your kind words. It will keep longer overall if you don’t add sugar until you’re ready to serve it. Otherwise, if it’s sweetened, it should keep in the fridge for the 1 to 2 weeks during the holiday season. Blessings, Fay

      • Reply
        December 17, 2012

        I actually kept my last bottle in the fridge for 1 year (last Chritmas!) and we had some on the weekend. It was even better!

  • Reply
    January 2, 2013

    As a British born to Jamaican parents, I’ve learned through watching mommy how to cook many things but not all recipes were covered! And I have always thought that the best way to teach cooking is to ‘watch and learn’ so I am SO happy to have found your website and youtube page. I’m looking forward to attempting many of the recipes with my children.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2013

    Hi Faye,

    I feel so Blessed to have found your website. I love trying out new dishes & being from St.Lucia in the Caribbean, there are some dishes that Jamaicans do differently.
    I will try as many recipes, as possible & provide you with feedback.
    You look & sound like a sweet soul.
    God Bless!!!!

  • Reply
    November 28, 2013

    Thank you much for your recipes, especially this one. I am first generation American and learning how to cook Jamaican. I want my Jamaican dishes to be a staple during the holidays for my fiancé and son. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2013

    Hi Faye,

    This may be an abomination to ask, however I’m Seventh-Day Adventist and don’t drink alcohol. I know some of the ladies at our church make a version of this without the rum, but I don’t know what the substitute would be. Can I make it without it? Can you recommend a substitution for the rum? Club soda? Sparkling water?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      December 19, 2013

      Hi Nicole,
      No need to substitute. This recipe tastes as good without alcohol. Fay

  • Reply
    December 21, 2013

    Hi mommy,
    I’m so glad to have found your website, I am jamaican born but was given away to Germans who have passed I live in canada now and I am trying to accrue as much of my heritage as I can, I made my first rum cake with your recipe and it turned out a 100 times better than the ones that I use to pay so much money for. Made my sorrel and by Gods grace my children and I will have a wonderful Christmas. Thank you so much and I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

  • Reply
    Michelle Parson
    December 31, 2013

    I am a very lucky girl in that my Dad grows sorrel where he lives in Florida. He dries it and sends me a batch to London, England. This year it was a little late for Christmas day but I made some up for the weekend. After trying different techniques and quantities of ginger to sorrel, I now have the perfect blend. Sorrel is one of my family’s favourite drinks and I love tp make plenty to share with my friends and give bottles of sorrel as presents.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2014

    thank you GOD for the great heart given to You! Ma what can i do to preserve the drink for about a year with refrigerating? Can I carbonate it? I really want to do a research on it, i believe You would help to a great extend!

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      May 13, 2014

      If you want it to last longer do not put sugar in it until you’re ready to drink it. That way it will last in the fridge for a few weeks or longer. Otherwise it will eventually turn to vinegar. To carbonate just mix with ginger ale or soda water.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2014

    How lovely to come across your video and website. I was searching for a recipe to pass on to a Spanish friend who had been introduced to ‘ague de jamaica’ by a Mexican. Such a pity that she hadn’t had the ‘real thing’ from me :-). I have sent her your link and will now introduce her to your website. I am a Jamaican living in Europe and my family and friends always, always appreciate Jamaican cuisine. I prefer your home cooking to all those fancy cookbooks that are available. Somehow they are never as authentic as what you provide here. By the way, I never subscribe or write comments on the wider internet but am so moved by your contribution that I just had to make an exception. May you continue to be blessed abundantly

  • Reply
    July 29, 2014

    Hi I just lucked up and found this site and I’m so grateful ! The sorrel I have used allspice when I did’nt have ginger and it was great. You may want to try share this! God Bless!

  • Reply
    July 29, 2014

    Thank you !

  • Reply
    October 5, 2014

    Can’t wait to make my first batch of Sorrel drink with your recipe. My jamaican mother in law freezes sorrel drink in tubs. Not too long out of the freezer (in jamaican heat!) she scrapes it and serves, the most delicious ‘slushy’ ever. Oh and she adds white wine AND white rum to her recipe, I’m just not certain of her quantities.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2014

    Thanks so much for your Website, it has been a blessing to me. I love to cook good ole southern foods but I also love cooking Jamaican foods!! Keep them recipes coming. love you.

  • Reply
    December 15, 2014

    I knew if I came to you I would find the recipe for Sorrell!! God bless you for all you do for us. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  • Reply
    December 28, 2014

    Thanks for your wonderful recipes. You just saved our sorrel from fermenting. I am currently in Atlanta Georgia and was privileged to have gotten sorrel drink for Christmas. However, we did not know what to do to save some and was unable to call home (Jamaica). Thanks a million. You are doing a fantastic job guys. I love your videos!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2015

    Hello Miss Fay,You are my new mom, I came to the US as a teenager which robbed me of any real cooking skills. Thank you so much for your recipe with Jamaican ex-pat like myself. It was love at first sight. May the good Lord continue to bless and keep you.

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