The Drink of the Season
Sorrel & Ginger Beer
No Saint Lucian Christmas would be complete without sorrel and ginger beer. These two drinks are staples in Saint Lucia and, in fact, throughout the Caribbean during the festive season. We’ve got two easy recipes for you to make the drinks yourself when you leave this tropical paradise!
3lbs of sorrel
1 inch root ginger, washed, crushed and blended
12 whole cloves
5 pimento leaves or 4 dried grains of pimento
6 cinnamon leaves
6 pts boiling water
½ cup dark rum
½ lb white sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp rice
Cut sorrel sepals from seeds and wash well. Put sepals in a crock jar with ginger, cloves, pimento and cinnamon leaves. Pour in boiling water, cover with a cloth and set aside for 24 hours. A tablespoon of rice can be put in the sorrel mix to speed fermentation. Strain and sweeten with white sugar and lime juice. You may add the rum at this point. Bottle and chill.
Frozen sorrel gives better flavour and colour than dried sorrel.
1 hand (4 – 6 inches) fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 tbsp active dry (baker’s) yeast
4 quarts water
4 cups sugar
½ cup dark rum (optional)
Combine the ginger, yeast, water and sugar in a large crock or pot. Set outside for a day. A temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect for fermentation. For those who like a stronger drink, add rum if you wish (or wait and add it to each glass as you serve). Strain, bottle and refrigerate. The ginger beer will keep for up to one week.