Roselle is a thirst quenching tea with vivid-red color. It has a natural lemony sour taste, and is enjoyable served hot or cold. We recommend you to blend it with some honey or ice-sugar unless you are obsessed with the tart fruit flavor.
Also, roselle combines well with fruit juices. Mix it with pineapple juice, orange juice and/or cranberry juice. Sprinkle with lemon slices, and perhaps rum, to make a very summery punch.
Roselle(Hibiscus) has been used in folk medicine as a diuretic and mild laxative, as well as in treating cancer and cardiac and nerve diseases. Although information is limited, the potential for hibiscus use in treating hypertension and cancer, as well as for its lipid-lowering and renal effects, are being investigated.
Scientific Name(s): Hibiscus sabdariffa L. Family: Malvaceae (mallows)
Common Name(s): Hibiscus , Jamaica sorrel , karkade (Egyptian hibiscus tea), karkadi , red sorrel , red tea , rosa de Jamaica , rosella , roselle , soborodo , sour tea , Zobo drink.
Served cold, the tart, grape juice-like drink is most commonly called roselle juice in English. Served hot, it’s hibiscus tea or Jamaica tea.
In English-speaking parts of the world, the plant goes by the names hibiscus, roselle, rozelle, Florida cranberry, flor de Jamaica, Jamaica sorrel, Indian sorrel, Guinea sorrel, sorrel, red sorrel, saril, sour-sour, Queensland jelly plant, jelly okra and lemon bush.
In French, it’s oseille rouge or oseille de Guinée.
In Spanish, it’s quimbombó chino, saril, sereni, rosa de Jamaica, flor de Jamaica, agria, agrio de Guinea, quetmia ácida, viña and viñuela.
In Portuguese, it’s vinagreira, azeda de Guiné, cururú azédo, and quiabeiro azédo.
In Surinam, it goes by the Dutch name, zuring.
It’s known as bissap in Senegal, krajeap in Thailand, chin baung in Myanmar, and asam paya or asam susur in Malaysia.
In Sudan, Egypt and elsewhere in the Near East, it’s known as karkadé or carcadé.
In Chinese, it’s 玫瑰茄 or 洛神花.
How to Brew?
1. Combine the roselle and water in a large pot and bring to a full boil. Remove from stove and let steep covered for 15 minutes. The color should be a deep red-purple, like some kinds of grape juice.
2. Strain off the liquid through a sieve and throw away the roselle.
3. Stir in lemon juice, ice-sugar, honey (as you like).
4. Serve hot or cold.
After removing the pot from the stove, cooks in Latin America often add a few slices of fresh peeled ginger root. Jamaicans often add rum and ginger to the cold version. In Africa, mint is often added. In Southeast Asia, lemongrass is sometimes added in the boiling stage.