Hibiscus Tea or Sorrel Drink?

Hibiscus, sorrel (Caribbean), karkade (Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia), rossele, rossela fruit (Australia), flor de Jamaica / Jamaica / rosa de Jamaica (Mexico and other Latin American countires) are different names for the same Hibiscus sabdariffa plant.

It belongs to the family of other hibiscuses that produce beautiful flowers, Hibiscus sabdariffa fruits / flowers are fleshy and deep red in colour.

Drink made from them is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, it resembles in flavour cranberry juice.

 agua de Jamaica hibiscus tea sorrel drink karkade

Cold tea made from Hibiscus is called Jamaica or agua de Jamaica in Mexico. It is prepared by steeping the calyces in boiling water, straining the mixture, pressing the calyces (to squeeze all the juice out), adding sugar, and stirring. The drink is served chilled.

In Poland hibiscus tea is a very popular drink as well, prepared the same way like Mexican Jamaica, but served hot, optionally with or without sugar.

The same way it is prepared in Turkey where hibiscus tea is called karkade.

In the Caribbean (Dominica, Jamaica, Barbados) sorrel drink is made from the fresh sorrel fruits and spices such as cloves and sometimes ginger, sweetened with sugar or honey, and it is an integral part of Christmas celebrations.

One of the Trinidad and Tobago breweries produces a shandy sorrel in which the tea is combined with beer.

And how is it called in your part of the World?…

Caribbean sorrel drink recipe

Dominican Sorrel Tea


  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • 2 handfuls of dried hibiscus flowers (or even better fresh flowers)
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 pinch of ginger powder or 1 slice fresh ginger root
  • honey or sugar to taste


  1. Bring water to boil in a sauce pan.
  2. Add hibiscus, cloves, ginger and cook for couple of minutes until fragrant.
  3. Leave to cool down, add sugar or honey to taste.
  4. Serve over ice.

Serves 4 people.


More drink recipes and other summer recipes can be found here.

For more Polish recipes or Domincan recipes follow those links.

Some information source: Wikipedia.

Your thoughts…

  1. What a interesting read Margot – thanks for sharing this I have learnt something new again :D

    Rosie x

  2. :grin:
    We call it Hibiskus in German (I live in Austria) and we make hot tea – supposed to help against colds…

    It’s mostly sold in combination with rose hips for tea, here, you have to look around specialist fair trade or organic shops in order to get hibiscus alone.


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