White sorrel is becoming very popular, but most households still use red sorrel at Christmas. There are many recipes for drawing sorrel and nearly all use root ginger and cinnamon leaves or spice.

Recipe #1:

  • 3 lb. sorrel
  • 1 in. root ginger, washed, crushed and blended
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 5 pimento leaves, or 4 green dried grains of pimento
  • 6 cinnamon leaves
  • 6 pt. boiling water
  • 1/2 cup overproof rum (optional)
  • 1/2 lb. granulated sugar or sweeten to taste
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. rice


  1. Cut sorrel sepals from seeds and wash well.
  2. Put sepals in a crock jar with ginger, cloves, pimento and cinnamon leaves.
  3. Pour on boiling water, cover with a cloth and set aside for 24 hours.
  4. A tablespoon of rice can be put in sorrel to speed fermentation.
  5. Strain and sweeten with granulated sugar and a little lime juice. You may add the rum at this point.
  6. Bottle and chill.

Recipe #2:

  • 3 cups picked sorrel (sorrel is now sold picked and ready for drawing)
  • 1 in. root ginger
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 3 pimento leaves
  • 4 cinnamon leaves
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 lb. brown sugar or sweeten to taste


  1. Add sorrel, ginger, cloves and spice leaves to rapidly boiling water. Keep on fire and allow water to return to a boil.
  2. Simmer for a further 4 minutes.
  3. Strain and sweeten.
  4. Bottle. Yields 12 cups

Cook’s Tip Frozen sorrel gives better results than dried sorrel: better flavour, better colour.


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