Saturday 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas: drink sorrel!

A quick post to have merry Christmas and a happy new year to one and all, I hope that everyone’s new year’s wishes come true, especially my one about winning the lottery

Christmas is a funny time, as the way everyone talks about the break it’s like we are having a month off, and mentally I’ve been planning on doing lots of digging and weeding as although the garden is looking ropey we still haven’t had big frosts and the ground is good and soft. However we are pretty busy with hosting and cooking and I don’t think we have many spare days at all!

Christmas is usually a slow time for plants beyond the Christmas staples, but as we have only been back in the country a week I haven’t had time to go to Columbia Road to stock up on hyacinths and Amaryllis so we are lacking in planty gifts. One seasonal plant I’m not a personal fan of is the Poinsettia, but thought that Victoria’s blog did about why it is a Christmas favourite was great! Do check it out

Although busy I have found time to do a new Christmas planty thing, and have just brewed my first batch of sorrel. I had no idea of what this was, but was given some at a work pot lunch and loved it.

I think it is mainly a Caribbean thing, although I have had hibiscus water at a Mexican restaurant which I think must be similar. In essence it is a delicious drink made from the sepals of Hibiscus sabdariffa. Misleadingly it is called sorrel, but is not the herb that Europeans use, but is called sorrel as the young leaves of the Hibiscus taste and are used a bit like European sorrel.
Not just a pretty flower! tasts nice too. Picture from here
From talking about it at work, and getting receipes I was delighted to find I must be psychically linked in, as it is actually a Christmas drink and found both dried and fresh sorrel at the first stall I went to in Peckham. I bought dried, and boiled it up for 10 mins, and let it sit for 24hrs before straining and reheating with brown sugar, ginger, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of rum (you then have it with more liquor if you want). Recipes seem to vary a lot, but this is what was recommended by pros at work.

ok, not the most apetising picture as it has just been boiled and left to seep for a day, but imagine drinking the nicest red blackcurranty drink which has the added bonus of being very healthy
I was apprehensive at how it would work, but it tasted great, a bit like a hot blackcurrant/lingonbury juice/mulled wine ish...delicious! do try it if you can get hold of it

Anyway, a big Happy Christmas to one and all!



  1. A belated Merry Christmas to you and your other half! Hope you had a lovely one :)

  2. Merry Christmas to Everyone and Happy New Year. Sounds like you were all having a great time, via Mum and Dad:) May 2012 be even better.

  3. Pleased to see my Christmas duck featuring on your blog. One of my new year's resolutions is to get wid da kidz and learn to do all this social media stuff so I promise to be an avid reader from now on...