Pete’s recipe for Saril drinks

An occasional series of practical recipes to cook using the ingredients at hand.
December, 2013, Panama

December in Panama means that the Jamaica flowers are in bloom. These are used to make beautiful, traditional Christmas drinks. We bought a couple of pounds of fresh Jamaica (also called saril or sorrel) flowers at the Abastos market in Panama City, and Pete processed them and prepared seasonal drinks for us.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of fresh saril flowers
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Rum

Instructions

  1. Carefully remove the green seed from the red saril flowers.

    Petals peeled from the green center.

    Petals peeled from the green center.

  2. Lay the flowers out to dry for a couple of days.
  3. Simmer the dried petals in water for about 15 minutes.
  4. Dried petals ready for boiling.

    Dried petals ready for boiling.

  5. Strain.
  6. Straining the tea (in a kitchen not equipped with a strainer).

    Straining the tea (in a kitchen not equipped with a strainer).

  7. Mix the saril tea with sugar or simple syrup, rum, and ice.
  8. Vibrant saril tea ready for mixing.

    Vibrant saril tea ready for mixing.

    Variations
    Mix with champagne, vodka, or ginger wine instead of rum.
    Top with a little grated nutmeg.

    Pete with a "saril royale" = champagne and saril tea.

    Pete with a “saril royale” = champagne and saril tea.


    For those of you who wish to try this at home, here is a more exact recipe made with already dried flowers. This “Chicha de Saril” recipe is from the famous Manolo Caracol restaurant in Panama City.

    Ingredients

    • 1 liter water
    • 1 oz. dried saril petals
    • 1 oz. ginger
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 3 cloves
    • sugar to taste

    Preparation

    Put Saril petals in a glass container. Boil ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in water for 15 minutes.
    Add cooked water to glass container filled with the petals and let it cool. Strain and drink (cold or hot).

    Bob Marley drink

    Fill a glass with ice, add 2 oz white rum and fill up the glass to the brim with “Chicha de Saril”. Mix and enjoy while listening to reggae music.

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