Sorrel Mimosa

Sorrel Sangria
I rang in the New Year quietly, at my apartment with a couple friends, a traditional Trinidadian meal and a few rituals focused on spiritually preparing for 2017. Although I would have liked to be home in Trinidad & Tobago to celebrate, I enjoyed my Stateside version. One of my intentions for putting together the  small gathering was to practise making the best of  wherever I am. Nonetheless, it was important to include a piece of home...which brings me to the sorrel sangria. Sorrel is a drink that we in the Caribbean typically drink during the holidays: December to January. This may be largely  due to the fact that the particular hibiscus plant from which the fruit is derived blooms around this time of the year. It is one of my favourite beverages. This year I decided to put a twist on this Caribbean staple by making a ‘sangria’ by adding some red wine. Just in case it is new to you, sangria is a Spanish cocktail made with red wine and fruit. The sorrel and the red wine went so well together that I wondered why I had not thought before of combining the two. It was a perfect way to bring a bit of home to my New Year festivities...Speaking of New Year's, I hope that 2017 will be full of much goodness for you.

*3 cups of dried sorrel (typically, we use the fresh flowers, either is fine)
* ½ a bottle  of Spanish red wine (I used  Las Rocas de San Alejandro )
* 1 tbsp of cloves
* 4 cups of brown sugar (I don’t use much sugar because I don’t like my sorrel
   too sweet but you can adjust as you prefer )
* 20 cups of  water
*1 cup of Angostura bitters
* 2 sticks of cinnamon
* 4 centimetre piece of orange peel
* 4 bay leaves (I didn’t use this or cinnamon in this  batch because I didn’t want   
    those flavours in the Sangria but I will probably add them the next time)
* 1 tsp of vanilla extract or mixed essence

*Bring 16 cups of water to a boil.
*Add cinnamon sticks, cloves & bay leaves.
*Stir continuously for 1 minute while boiling ; cover & allow to simmer on low
 heat for 30 minutes.
*Add sorrel, brown sugar &  4 more cups of water ; continue to simmer for
 another 30 minutes.
*Steep overnight or at least for 4 hours.
*Sift to separate the sorrel flowers from the juice.
*Add Angostura bitters.
*Add vanilla extract or mixed essence.
*Add water and sugar depending on tartness and potency.
*Pour into jars or bottles and refrigerate until serving.

Serves 16

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