Homemade Spicy Zoborodo (agua de jamaica) Drink
This homemade, healthy, and inexpensive drink is popular in many countries. It is made with the red calyces of the Roselle plant, which is a species of hibiscus. In the Caribbean, it is called sorrel drink while the Mexicans refer to it as agua de jamaica (pronounced hymyca). In Nigeria, it is popularly called zoborodo or zobo. It is regarded as a healthier alternative to sodas and artificially flavored drinks. The leaf, is used in preparing spicy sauces that can be eaten with pounded yam or ground rice.
Personally, I was not a huge fan of zobo, but after I moved to Southern California, and discovered it in nearby stores, I started making the drink and have since developed a taste for it.
This recipe is therefore primarily based on the way i prepare my zobo drink.
Roselle tea is high in vitamin C, calcium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron. Traditionally, it is also used as a diuretic.
However, because of the sour/tartness of the tea, make sure you don't brush your teeth immediately after drinking the tea, as this might affect your tooth enamel.
- 1 cup red calyces, dried
- 3 cups water, cold
- 3 sticks cinnamon
- cloves, dried
- 1 medium size ginger, fresh
- Honey, sweeteners or sugar to taste (optional)
- Pineapple peels or juice (optional)
- Wash the dried Roselle calyces to remove any sand or particles.
- Place the washed calyces in a cooking pot, and add 3 cups of cold water.
- Add the cinnamon, cloves and ginger, and boil for 5 minutes. If you like a fruity flavor or to reduce its sharp cranberry-like taste, add Pineapple peels before boiling.
- Remove from heat, and allow it to cool. I usually keep it overnight in the refrigerator to prevent fermentation; then sieve with a fine sift into a pitcher to remove any residue.
- Add sugar or honey to taste and stir properly.
- Put in bottles, refrigerate and drink within three days. You can drink it with or without ice.
Try out this recipe; then sit back, relax, and enjoy the refreshing drink!