Not to be confused with the sour green herb, Sorrel is a Caribbean drink made from the flowers (sepals, actually) of the hibiscus plant -- in specific the species roselle, or Hibiscus sabdariffa . Vivid red and tart, hibiscus makes a delicious tea, which is high in vitamin C. Ironically in the country of Jamaica, the drink is known simply as sorrel, whereas the similar drink in Mexico is known as agua de Jamaica (or just Jamaica), pronounced as ha-MY-eh-ka.
Sorel (note the single r) is a brand of sorrel liqueur made by Jack from Brooklyn. A tea is made from water and hibiscus, clove, ginger, cassia and nutmeg. This is mixed with sugar and wheat grain spirit, filtered, and bottled. The resulting liqueur is sweet/tart, with the brightness of the hibiscus on the background of dark pie spices.
It can be effectively used in recipes that call for a fruit liqueur. Take care before adding additional aromatic bitters (such as Angostura), as Sorel already has ample pie spice. Sorel cocktails can be both interesting enough for the jaded cocktail enthusiasts and broadly appealing to a diverse group. Highly recommended.
Some popular cocktails containing Sorel liqueur
- Holloway — Bitters, Sorel liqueur, Cream, Orgeat, Rose petal
- Jacked Up Rose — Apple brandy, Sorel liqueur, Campari, Bitters, Cider, Lime juice, Orgeat
- Love's Labours Linger — Rye, Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur, Sorel liqueur, Bitters
- The Great Game — Gin, Sweet vermouth, Curaçao, Sorel liqueur, Orange bitters, Bitters
- Steel Hibiscus — Old Tom Gin, Sorel liqueur, Lime juice, Passion fruit syrup, Lime peel