Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sorrel Scandal

Sorrel season is a scary time of year. Relationships can be broken. Some are even terminally altered. In my family, aunts feud over this luscious, holiday drink made from an herb that turns into a gorgeous, violet color when it’s ready to be picked. The herb is then transformed into a rich, spicy scandal juice. Jamaicans love sorrel, and it’s typical for family members to offer empty, white rum bottles filled with sorrel as holiday gifts to other family members. Each family member has his or her own style. Some make sorrel with dramatic amounts of sugar (Think 80s Kool-Aid). Some use piercing amounts of ginger. Some use lime. Some sorrel juices have the consistency of rhubarb syrup. But really well-made sorrel always has a few splashes of Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum. Recently my mom has been using me a scapegoat in evaluating the sorrel that pours in during the holidays. “Dinkinish is a food critic,” she will say sneeringly to her sister who may have neglected to send my mother her yearly batch. “She said that yours was very, very sweet last year.” My cousin just sent my mother a batch that was super lime-y. I decided to pour it into a flute glass with some Cava, but the lime assassinated the Cava. But I’m not giving up. I’m sure a more sugary sorrel is sure to work. My mom asked me what I thought, phone in hand, but I learned my lesson. “It’s good,” I responded flatly.

1 comment:

  1. Christmas "Jamaican Style" is definitely not complete without the famous sorrel drink...... I can remember being at a restaurant in Cancun, Mexico a few years ago and being served sorrel as "Jamaica Drink".... was so cool.... Definitely no standardization... This year I got sugar-free (almost) sorrel from one of my aunts (she is diabetic)..... Strictly low sugar.... the focus being the unique sorrel flavor.....