The hibiscus flower - fetching to look at, but good enough to drink?
There are certain parts of the world where hibiscus has long been revered for its curative and possibly aphrodisiacal properties. In the Caribbean islands, it is common practice to ferment the delectable, crimson flowers into a spirit and each island has its own variation.
Sorel is a modern American nod to that traditional liqueur, produced in Red Hook, Brooklyn. This bright pink elixir marries the flavors of Brazilian clove, Indonesian cassia, Nigerian ginger and Moroccan hibiscus with pure cane sugar. The base spirit is produced from 100% organic New York State grain alcohol.
The folks behind this new spirit are known collectively as Jack From Brooklyn, led by local native Jackie Summers, partnered with Alan Camlet and Timothy Kealey. The idea was to create a unique, local product that celebrates both the multicultural vibe of Brooklyn and the manifestation of the can-do attitude that can be inspired by growing up there.
This impressive newcomer does not disappoint. The warm spice flavors meld with the tart aromatics of the hibiscus, ending in a clean, sweet finish. It’s delicious when simply mixed with soda water on the rocks, with pretty pink bubbles adding to the sensory experience. The piquancy of the spirit also makes it a worthy cocktail ingredient. It’s a useful alternative to other fruit liqueurs, try it in your next margarita!
Sorel will be available from select retailers. Please check Jack From Brooklyn for availability.
Sorel Lime RickeyIngredients
3 oz Sorel
1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
lime wheel for garnish
Fill a tall glass with ice. Add the Sorel, then the lime juice. Stir to combine. Top with club soda and garnish.
Another Bloomin’ WordThe Last Word cocktail has never been the final word. This variation swaps out the slightly medicinal maraschino liqueur for the fresher punch of Sorel.
¾ oz dry gin
¾ oz Sorel
¾ oz Green Chartreuse
¾ oz fresh lime juice
Shake all ingredients with ice well to combine. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
The Concrete BlossomIngredients
1 oz straight rye whiskey
1 oz Sorel
½ oz raspberry syrup or heaping bar spoon of raspberry jam
½ oz fresh lemon juice
1 egg white
Fresh mint sprig for garnish (optional)
Shake all ingredients with ice well to combine. Strain into chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish if desired.