Disclosure: I was provided a bottle of Sorel for this review
Hibiscus-based liqueur, Sorel, is the every-season spirit you've been waiting for!
What is Sorel Exactly? Esquire aptly described the flavor as "fruitier than Jager, more herbal than Fernet, less bitter than Campari, more sippable than Aperol." With a low ABV (15%) and notes of clove, cinnamon, and ginger, Sorel is perfect for winter drinking but also versatile for warmer weather as well, mixed into a Sorel Spritz or combined with sparkling wine. Personally, I love the liqueur all by itself. it has just the right amount of sweet and tart. Plus, I'm a lover of cinnamon and ginger, which pair well and are noticeable but not over powering. I could see it being used in a winter Sangria, a refreshing spring daiquiri, a cool summer Margarita, and most definitely a fall Negroni.
Hibiscus was named one of the top trending ingredients/flavors of 2022 by Whole Foods, Forbes, and The New York Times and has been linked to health benefits like lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. So you can feel good about imbibing, much like you would with wine.
So what's the history of this tasty spirit? Sorrel (with two r's) is a hibiscus-based drink that traces back to West Africa in the 1600's (oftentimes referred to as "the red drink"); regional interpretations have spread and evolved throughout the African diaspora. As a kid with parents from the Caribbean, we had a non-alcoholic version in my family. Adults loved it, but kids like me thought it was a bit too tart.
Sorel Liqueur is inspired by the Barbados adaptation of the drink with the addition of rum and expanded spice profile. * After being diagnosed with a spinal tumor and given a small chance to live, Founder Jackie Summers not only beat those odds, but left his 25+ year corporate career to start Sorel as a way to honor his heritage. After 600+ attempts, Jackie created the first and only shelf-stable sorre. liqueur. It's available in many liquor stores for $42
Sorel drink recipes:
Hibiscus Margarita made with Sorel
1.5 oz tequila or mezcal
.5oz fresh lime juice
.5oz agave syrup
In a cocktail shaker, add all ingredients; shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with lime or a blood orange slice.
Crown Heights Negroni made with Sorel
2oz Gin (Tanqueray recommended)
.5oz Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
Add ingredients into a pre-chilled mixing glass with ice; stir and strain into a coupe glass.