Hibiscus flowers & syrup [Food/Vendor]

2009 Jan 15
is there anywhere in ottawa to buy hibiscus flowers in syrup? or even just the syrup? i have a bottle of hibiscus drink, but also want syrup to make a champagne cocktail for a party (party theme is: yoga, champagne cocktails and cupcakes).

2009 Jan 16
I have seen them at Paradies on Bank at Riverdale, unless I am mistaken--call first cuz I might be smokin' dope on this. I seem to recall seeing them at the front counter there.

You can get the dried hibiscus flowers (cheap) at most West Indian markets--they are labeled "sorrel" for some reason. I bought some at the strange chinese-west Indian market on Bank St. downtown, but I am sure that other places would have them. I have not seen them at the Latin American places in town, but they also might have them (labeled "jamaica").

I am sure with a little improvisation you could turn these into syrup.

2009 Jan 17
La tiendita on Merivale next to the El salvadorian restaurant La Cabana sells jamaica syrup.

2009 Jan 27
the chinese - west indian store on bank is called Grace Ottawa
Jamaicans call em sorrel
Mexicans call em Jamaica (pronounced Himaica)

in Jamaica, we make a "tea" out of it with hot water, sugar, ginger and pimento (allspice berries)...steep abit then chill and drink on ice
lol a splash of appletons makes it festive

* 1 pound sorrel
* 1/2 gallon water
* Sugar
* 2-4 oz. ginger
* Rum (or wine)
* Pimento (allspice) grains- a few (optional)


1. Wash sorrel thoroughly, drain and place in bowl.
2. Peel and grate ginger and add to sorrel.
3. Add pimento berries.
4. Boil water and pour over sorrel. Allow to stand for at least 4-6 hours.
5. Strain, then sweeten and add rum to taste.
6. Serve chilled.
usually part of the Christmas season

for a syrup, make a simple syrup first (one part water and more or less one part sugar, pour over the dried leaves and let cool, strain and go)

2009 Jan 27
here's the gorgeous colour of sorrel punch

2009 Jan 29
Slightly off-topic: Chef Obi, you've just saved Christmas by pointing out that pimento/pimiento is allspice berries. Craig Claiborne refers to them a heck of a lot, and I've always just scratched my head and ignored the recipes. Thanks a bunch!

And, no, I never thought of checking at www.foodsubs.com ;)

2009 Jan 29
Momomoto - One of the great things about the OF Website is these exact kind of cool things that we learn not only about food, but also about cultures from around the world. I for one also just figured this out the other day after reading another post by Chef Obi in the Solomon Gundy topic... only it took me a little longer to comprehend, than this one here.

The recipe he provided included both Allspice Berries and a Scotch Bonnet, I had to read the recipe about 3 times before I figured out that the "pimento" he referred to were the berries, and not the pepper. LOL

2009 Jan 29
sorry off topic

LOL@ momo (hmmmm MOMO's....Himalayan potstickers!)
sorry F & T sometimes I forget and use colloquial names

had a similiar conversation with a commis about cilantro

cilantro = Chinese/Mexican parsely

coriander = the seeds of said plant but in British speaking countries refer to the leaves and stems

Culantro = Thai cilantro or sawtooth herb

I was mention the herbs I use in my narm thog (grilled beef salad) which are cilantro, culantro and mint

2009 Nov 16
You guys rock! I was just looking for hibiscus flowers to make a proper grenadine (you make it with pomegranate juice, simple syrup and hibiscus blossoms) but didn't know where to find the flowers. I work within walking distance of Grace Ottawa, so my problem is solved! Thanks!

2009 Nov 18
Chef Obi - thanks for the recipe and Christmas memories from the Caribean :-)
I was trying to find some culantro a while ago to make some shark and bake...have you seen it at Grace?

2009 Nov 18
Gotta love the Grace. It is always a treat to listen in to their conversations in Mauritian creole.

Once made, you can also drizzle the hibiscus syrup over shaved ice to make sorbets (nieves), or over ice cream for a hibiscus sundae.