I am a firm believer that every meal needs something to help wash it down. Who else is in my corner? Let me see your hands up! I however also believe now that, whatever you chose that to be, if possible should do more that just help wash the food down. You know what I mean? Okay maybe not, “Sobolo” or “Zobo” for my Nigerian friends and Sorrell for my friends from the Caribbean’s has always been my jam refresh me during mealtime and well, any other time :).
Growing up I always looked forward to going to mu Aunt Bibi’s house because it mean coming home with gallons of sweet and fiery “Sobolo”, among a few other drinks which I will share in due time. Dried Rochelle, a species of Hibiscus native to West Africa is the main ingredient for this infusion drink. It is believed to help in the reduction of blood pressure and in some cases, hot flashes. Depending on whatever spices/herbs you include, you are guaranteed a few other benefits. I like to add ginger just because I love the taste and its been proven to aid in digestion and reduce nausea and cloves that aids in reducing inflammation.
For the recipe, it is petty straight forward. The dried Roselle flowers combined with my chosen spices are boiled and then strained. That mixture is then combined with a sugar syrup which I skip and in place, use pineapple and grape juices. This gives it a sweet yet tangy flavour and guess what- extra vitamins and points for your 5 a day!
The distinctive taste of any Sobolo, I believe comes from the choice and quantity of spices one combines. However my grandma insists that the ‘handwriting’ of person making it plays an important role as well. And by handwriting, she means a persons flair, creativity and cooking skills. Let me know in the comments if you agree on this…
- 2 cups Roselle flowers ( dried)
- Ginger ( as much or little as desired)
- A table spoon of Cloves ( just because I love the taste it give)
- 1 cup Fresh pineapple juice ( I just blended mine and strained it)
- 1 cup Fresh grape juice
- Combine Roselle flowers with roughly bruised ginger fingers and cloves into a pot on medium heat
- Add enough water to cover the leaves completely and cover allowing to boil which should take about 10 minutes
- Turn down the heat to allow to simmer for 4 more minutes before turning off the fire
- Leave mixture to cool down which will take another 30 – 45 minutes and then strain with a cloth or sieve. If using a cloth, not this will stain it so washing it immediately is advised.
- Combine the strained mixture with fresh pineapple and grape juice and refrigerate! Its ready to be served when you are 🙂
Note that in place of step 2 and 3 you could just boil water in a kettle and pour over the leaves, allowing it to seep through for an hour. I tend to do that If I am leaving home and wont be around to watch over it!
Let me know how you like your sobolo, or roselle drink? Remember, this is my 2 pesewas!
Photography @pixelsnbytes, Hand model@missbartelsK