You would have guessed already that Felix must be somewhere enjoying himself. After all, there has not been a post for quite a while, and the Christmas season is right around the corner. And I would say, you are quite right. He has been very busy since he had been invited to play with a parang band for our local church. He was excited indeed, because this was his opportunity to indulge in another hobby he loves, playing the guitar. He is busy, but he has not forgotton the site. However, there are a number of recipes that must be posted in the following weeks and someone has to make sure these recipes are posted on time. I am definitely not going to wait for them to be posted when he is done playing all that parang. So, I’ve volunteered to make sure they are posted on time. My name is Germaine.
Now when I think of parang, I think of Christmas…. and eventually I start to think of alcohol. I don’t know why. Maybe it it because while growing up I noticed the popular foods of this season contained some alcohol: blackcake contained alcohol; the ginger beer contained alcohol, the punch a creme had a lot alcohol, and some people like to put a little alcohol in their sorrel. This is besides the fact that rum is also served with a little black cake or even ham. While growing up, it was one of the main reasons my father would send everyone to bed early so so he would not have to serve these things to the roaming paranderos in the neighbourhood who visited to give a house parang.
It never really worked, the serending musicians were mostly his cousins and uncles and he could not ignore them when they reached his door step. Soon, the alcohol, the cake …. was out for the paranderos. Some already a little tipsy. I always remember thinking that alcohol and parang make strange parang music. Now, I sincerely hope that Felix and his band would be a bit more conservative when it comes to food and drinks being served during this time, that is if they wish to follow the house-to-house tradition of paranging. I for one know he cannot hold his alcohol that well. (PS: I am just thinking of this year Jouvert gone. Not a nice sight lol).
Anyhow, I do not want to digress much. Alcohol in sorrel is not a new thing. And for those people who feel that a glass of wine is quite fitting for this occassion, you would also like this sorrel liqueur. Felix liked it and could not wait to serve it to our visitors on New Years Day. He had the brew curing for 21 days, which accounted for the time it ended up being served. Our New Year’s visitors loved it. Now, I am not in the habit of watching people drink, but I must say it went well. I also tasted it, and I must say it really did taste good. It was good enough for me. Not too strong. I am not one to indulge in alcohol much.
Now, if you want a stronger liqueur you can choose to make it with brandy or puncheon rum or any other strong liquour. However, be cautious, not everyone likes strong drinks. The recipe is below and we invite you to leave your comments and perhaps your thoughts on the joy of parang and house-to-house paranging. (Hmmm. I hope you were not thinking I meant the joy of alcohol). Remember, it takes a while to prepare this one, 21 days to cure, so if you want to serve it this christmas, you would just have to start about now.
Recipe for Sorrel Liqueur
1 lb sorrel sepals, cleaned
3 lbs (6 cups) granulated sugar
3 tsp Angostura bitters
1 bottle white rum or brandy or puncheon rum ( 750 ml)
8 cups water
Remove the seeds from sorrel petals.
Place water in a deep stainless steel pot.
Boil sorrel in the water…
And sweeten with sugar.
Boil the juice down to make a thin syrup. Set aside to cool.
Stir in rum, brandy or puncheon rum and bitters.
Pour into a sterilized container, cover and leave to cure for 21 days.
After 21 days strain and bottle.
Leave in a cool place. (That means to hide it well so nobody could find it lol!! :)
Serve on ice.
P.S: This was once an exclusive recipe earlier this year for compere.org. The site is now opened to the public and all the recipes have been reposted in this site. All the magazine past issues and giveaways can be accessed without any subscription now. And, on the topic of magazine, stay tuned for the December issue of Compère Magazine and the giveaway. We have lots in store for you.
Don’t forget to leave your comments in the comment box below.
Ah gone too 🙂