The Sorrel Drink is also known as Red Tea, Roselle or Sudanese Tea. Made from the Jamaican sorrel plant, a member of the hibiscus family, which has its origin in Sudan, Africa, the drink is an integral part of Jamaican Christmas tradition. Jamaicans make the refreshing beverage way in advance of Christmas Day; traditionally, it was stored in stainless steel, earthenware or enamel containers. To make the drink, boiled water is poured over sorrel, grated ginger, cloves and pimento. After at least four hours, it is sweetened with sugar, and flavoured with rum or wine. Sorrel is served on ice.
Christmas Fruit Cake is a “must havefor the season. Many persons start ‘soaking’ the fruits – prunes, cherries, raisins and currants – months in advance. In most families, baking Christmas cakes or puddings is a whole-day family activity. Young children are tasked with washing mixing bowls or preparing baking utensils lined with grease paper, while older men cream the butter and sugar for the batter. Many Jamaicans give cakes as gifts or exchange them with neighbours.