Zobo

Zobo

The Spruce / Ozoz Sokoh

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 17 servings
  • Yields: 8 1/2 cups

Nigerian-style infusions made with the flowers yield a deep purple-red drink that is tart and concentrated. It can be sweetened and flavored in different ways and served hot or cold. This drink that goes by many names including zobo, red sorrel, and agua de Jamaica. You’ll find zobo flowers in African, Caribbean, and Latin American stores by the same name: hibiscus or agua de Jamaica.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup zobo, rinsed
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 10 to 12 whole cloves
  • 1 (4 to 6-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Optional: 1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • For Serving:
  • Ginger simple syrup, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Put the zobo in a pot. Add 4 cups of the water to the pot, along with the cloves.

  3. In a blender, combine the ginger with 1 cup of the water. Blend on medium until thick and the fibers are broken down, about 30 to 45 seconds. Add the pureed ginger to the pot along with 1 more cup of the water.

  4. If you would like to deepen flavor and color, let it sit covered to infuse for 2 to 8 hours.

  5. Bring to the boil, about 10 to 12 minutes. Then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

  6. Remove from the heat and allow cool down, then pass through a strainer.

  7. Pour into jugs and bottles with caps. To serve, sweeten with some ginger simple syrup.

Tips

  • Turn it into a punch or sangria with fresh fruit.
  • You can sweeten the zobo directly with sugar, honey, or any sweeteners you like.
  • Sweetening the cooked batch might cause it to ferment a bit—it isn't harmful.

Recipe Variations

  • A version with pineapple skins cooked with the flowers is also popular in Nigeria.
  • Vary the flavorings—vanilla, green cardamom, star anise also go very well.