Jamaican Sorrel Tea (Hibiscus)

Sorrel is also known as Hibiscus sabdariffa (roselle) outside of Jamaica. It is native to West and East Africa and made its way to the East Indies and South America. Jamaican sorrel is traditionally served during the Christmas holidays, much like American's serve hot cider. However, it is also enjoyed during the hot summer months, over ice. Feel free to add a splash of rum for the true island holiday spirit!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups whole, dried sorrel (a.k.a. dried hibiscus)
2 inches ginger, chopped or grated finely
Peel from 1 orange (save the flesh for another use)
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole allspice
5 whole cloves (optional, but nice)
6 cups water
Sugar to taste (about 3/4 - 1 cup)

METHOD:

Place all ingredients into a medium-sized pot. Cover and bring mixture to a simmer, about 10 minutes. Continue to gently simmer the mixture for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate overnight for a more robust flavor.

Strain mixture. Serve over ice, or if in a holiday spirit, add some rum to taste.