Food and Drink

Quench Your Thirst With This Refreshing Sorrel Rum Punch

The owners of LoLo's Seafood Shack share their globally inspired recipe.

Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

Rum punch is a classic Caribbean cocktail traditionally made with multiple fruit juices, like pineapple and orange, and of course a generous amount of white rum. But at LoLo’s Seafood Shack in Harlem, New York, sorrel is the star of this classic drink.

Often confused with the green sorrel herb, sorrel (or Hibiscus sabdariffa) is called by different names depending on which region you’re in, with it also commonly referred to as hibiscus tea. The flower calyx is typically dried and boiled to create a tart, deep red drink popular in countries throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and West Africa. 

Leticia “Skai” Young-Mohan and her husband Raymond Mohan own LoLo’s and explain that they use sorrel because they wanted a drink to serve guests that was light, refreshing, contained less processed ingredients, and offered a slightly healthier option to traditional rum punch. Studies show hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure, soothe sore throats, and even treat heart disease.   

“Our punch is different because it definitely has more of an unctuous fruit flavor. Rum punch is made with fruit juice, while LoLo’s Punch is lighter and more translucent,” says Young-Mohan, who is a former bartender. “It’s really based on sorrel, and that is typically something that you’ll have around the holidays. It’s got a lot of health benefits, as opposed to something like a rum punch with tons of sugar and fruit juice.”

Young-Mohan, whose mother is from Belize and her husband who is Indo-Guayanese, say their cultures heavily influenced the restaurant’s vibe and menu to make guests feel like they’re “island hopping.” 

“We try to keep things simple, especially with the chefs and myself coming from a fine dining background where typically there might be a lot of ingredients in a dish,” says Young-Mohan, who attended the French Culinary Institute which is now known as the Institute of Culinary Education. “Our dishes only have a handful of ingredients in everything. I think it was important to also have a drink to match that, where you can definitely taste everything that’s in it.”

LoLo’s Punch involves few ingredients with one of them being water, leaving plenty of room for customization if you want to add sliced fruit or additional spices to really kick up the flavor. 

“If you want to jazz it up, you can also use ginger ale if you don’t have ginger, and put a little spritz in there,” Young-Mohan says. “It’s something that’s really light for the summer.”

LoLo’s Punch Recipe

Yield: 1 gallon

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces dry sorrel
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 ounces coconut rum
  • Fresh ginger

Directions

1. Bring water, sugar, ginger, cloves, and sorrel to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. 

2. Fill your cup with ice.

3. Pour 3/4 of the way with sorrel mix.

4. Add 4 ounces of your favourite coconut rum.

5. Float with Ting or your favorite ginger ale if you like.

6. Sip and enjoy!

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Kristen Adaway is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her @kristenadaway. 

Food and Drink

Red Rooster Is Serving Free Chicken and Piping Hot Cash This Christmas in July

Get your early dose of festive cheer.

Red Rooster Christmas in July
Instagram / @redrooster_au

The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.

From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.

Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.

Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.

Terms and conditions apply. Visit Red Rooster’s Christmas in July to see all the deals.

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