Thu | Apr 27, 2017

A case for sorrel water

Published:Tuesday | May 5, 2015 | 5:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Jamaica has had a love affair with cranberry juice. In 2009, it was established that, per capita, Jamaicans were consuming more cranberry juice than any other country. This love affair was strengthened by the introduction of cranberry blended with other juices and cranberry water.

The instant success of cranberry water spurred local manufacturers to experiment with other flavoured water blends, including strawberry and cran-grape.

However, I have not seen sorrel water to date. Although bottled sorrel drinks are available all year, a diluted form that could compete with the other flavoured waters has not been forthcoming.

Personally, I find many of the sorrel drinks on the market too sweet and I often significantly dilute these drinks in a roughly 1:1 ratio with water to produce a more refreshing beverage. A formula for sorrel water should not be difficult to formulate. Hopefully, new formulations will have less or none of the artificial colouring of current berry-flavoured waters

The production of sorrel water should, however, be coupled with the production of more local sorrel, ginger and sugar. Sorrel is a hardy crop that should do well in the sunny south coast plains. Ginger production will continue within the hinterlands

The production of additional sorrel and ginger could be part of Jamaica's growth strategy. Certainly, sorrel water will also be enjoyed by the Jamaican diaspora and our international friends who enjoy Jamaican products.

Sorrel water should be marketed as a healthy beverage, as its benefits have been established by Northern Caribbean University The extraction of the sorrel should be done in a manner that ensures the antioxidant properties are retained so that consumers will reap the health benefits of sorrel consumption.

Can I challenge Jamaican entrepreneurs to have this product ready for the Diaspora Conference later this year?

EMILE GRANT

emiledgrant@yahoo.ca

Aberdeen, Scotland