SO, WHAT IS ZOBO DRINK?
Zobo is a beverage made from the brewed or infused sepals of the hibiscus sabdariffa flower made with a selection of food spices, sweeteners or flavours and consumed hot or cold. Spices used could be: cinnamon, star anise, ginger, cloves, garlic, pepper, or natural or artificial flavouring from oranges, lemons, pineapples, cucumbers, sugar cane or any other preferred flavours of choice.
Zobo is consumed for different reasons around the world. In some areas, it is a festive drink, and many recall childhood memories where it was a must-see at the Christmas table during events or family gatherings. In Jamaica, it is a Christmas favourite, which must be why in some parts of the world like Mexico, the drink is simply called ‘Jamaica’. It is also considered the national drink of Senegal.
There are different types of zobo, but the two consumed species in Nigeria are the red and white varieties. The red specie is consumed as the drink and the white specie, is used in western Nigeria to make a soup called ‘ishapa’. Interestingly, in Jamaica, the white specie is used to make a more neutral coloured version that could then be coloured with other fun colours at the party table.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ZOBO DRINK
- Serves as a laxative
- Treats depression
- Treats menstrual cramps
- Contains anti-cancer properties
- Aids digestion
- Aids management of diabetes
- Prevents hypertension
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- keeps your liver and kidney healthy
- weight management
HOW TO MAKE ZOBO DRINK
It’s very easy to make, You’ll need:
- 2 cups of zobo petals
- 10 cups of water
- Spices: cloves, cinnamon stick, anise, ginger, garlic, chilli ..or any other spices of choice
- Flavours: Back of pineapple, orange peel, pineapple chunks, lemon, cucumber
- Sweeteners: honey/dates (natural) or juice concentrates
DIRECTIONS FOR PREPARATION
- Rinse your zobo leaves well as they usually come dusty.
- Put the leaves in the pot with the pineapple and orange/lemon peel. You may also put in chunks of fresh pineapple and deseeded orange or lemon pulps.
- Add your cups of water and put low heat on (no high heat).
- While on fire, add your cloves, (no need to crush) and leave to boil
- If you’re using dates as sweetener, deseed it and blend it with a piece of ginger and any other spices you so desire(or more, depending on how hot you want it). Pour in mixture.
- As it slowly comes to a boil, turn off heat and leave to steep.
- Leave to cool, then bring out fruit bits, blend and add back to the rest of the mixture.
- Leave to seat for between 1-2 days.
- When you’re sure its juiced out to the max, stain and serve chilled with cucumber or lemon slices
- You can sweeten with honey to taste if you want it sweeter
- Put your washed zobo leaves in water and leave to boil with your ripe pineapple and orange chunks, peels, grated ginger, ground cloves (about 10-15 pieces), garlic, chilli flakes, fruit juice concentrate, cinnamon, vanilla extract, or any other flavours you want in your drink.
- Leave to boil for about 30 minutes till fully brewed
- When it’s fully brewed, leave to cool, then bring out the fruit pieces, blend and add back to the mix.
- Sieve to leave a clear juice, which you may sweeten with honey for more sweetness.
- Garnish and serve with cucumber and lemon slices
- Add some rum for a kick (adult version)