We love to share recipes of various Afro multicultural cuisines, to celebrate the rich and delicious variety of food and drinks from the motherland and the motherland diaspora. This week on our Afro Cuisine recipe is a healthy refreshing drink called Bissap. It is another #TastyThursday and we want you to savor a taste of Africa. You can search for the ingredients in African stores around you; or better still take a trip to Africa and give your tastebuds a treat.
Bissap is the national drink of Senegal and can be enjoyed at every meal. It’s floral aroma has a slight tang with citrus undertones. Commonly known as sorrel in the Caribbean or flor de Jamaica in Mexico, bissap goes by a few different names like Zobo or Sobolo in Nigeria and Ghana. The deep ruby colored drink comes from a hibiscus flower native to West Africa. If you drink hot hibiscus tea in the morning, bissap is its cooler counterpart that is traditionally served cold. Bissap is simply sweetened with sugar, but it easily transforms into a spiced drink with the addition if ginger, cloves, allspice seeds, or orange peels.
Ingredients for Bissap
- 2 cups dried bissap petals
- 8 cups boiling water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 5 cloves (optional)
- 10 allspice seeds (optional)
- 3 cinnamon sticks (optional)
- handful fresh crushed ginger (optional)
- 4 ounces overproof white rum (optional)
- When water is boiled remove from heat and add the dried bissap petals.
- Stir in sugar to dissolve.
- To make the Caribbean version add cloves, allspice seeds, cinnamon sticks, and ginger.
- Steep petals for 15 to 20 minutes and strain with a fine mesh strainer.
- You can also add overproof white rum to spike the drink!
- Chill in the refrigerator overnight and serve cold.