–Our monthly flavor is perfect during the cold, consumed as a warm tea or ideal during the hot summer, when a cool glass of Flor de Jamaica serves as a refreshing breeze, carrying a flavor similar to that of cranberries.
Made as an infusion from the burgundy colored calyces of the roselle, or hibiscus flower, the broth is presented under different names and beverages. In Jamaica and Caribbean neighbors, we call it “sorrel”, in other parts of the Americas it can be found as “jugo de rosella”, “agua de rosa”, “rosa de Jamaica” or “flor de jamaica”, and in Panama it was introduced as “Saril” by the Jamaicans. In African countries names such as “Karkade”, “bissap” and “sobolo” pop-up.
An interesting fact… the name Flor de Jamaica is one of the most popular names under which the beverage is commercialized in the Americas. Ironically in the country of Bob Marley, where it is called “sorrel”, it is mostly consumed during Christmas. Similarly to other countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, where the flavor of the hibiscus broth, together with bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon triumphs over ginger beverages.
The biggest producers of Hibiscus are Thailand and China. While in Central America and the Caribbean it is farmed in Mexico, Jamaica and Guatemala.
In addition to being inexpensive, the beverage obtained from the hibiscus flower has several benefits when consumed. Whether as tea or as a cool juice, the flor de Jamaica is a powerhouse of antioxidants vitamins and minerals for the nervous system and the immune systems, in addition to containing natural fats. Studies have associated the wine colored drink to lower blood pressure, lower blood fat levels, liver health and weight loss.
Should you come across the hibiscus flower, fresh or dried, here is a quick recipe to make your own juice:
15 – 20 pieces of hibiscus flower
2.5 liters of water
1 – 1.5 cups of sugar
Wash the fruit and peel the calyces, taking out the seeds. Afterwards simply boil the calyces together with the sugar for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the liquid and discard the calyces.
So there you go, whether you have access to the dried flowers, teabags or in the form of juice – the juice obtained from the Flor de Jamaica, Roselle or Saril, is a world item packed with many benefits. But beyond all of this, the beverage is simply delicious!
For more recipes visit our Monthly Flavor.
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