When we lived on the island, as the holidays neared, we found hardly a familiar sign of it.  But we learned about what made Christmas in St. Vincent. First was Sorrel.

We’d often stop at a snack truck in town for sandwiches and drinks while we ran our errands. As the holiday season neared, Mac’s Snacks acquired a new juice: sorrel.

Made by boiling the crimson colored flowers of the Hibiscus Sabdariffa, and mixing in sugar, ginger, cloves and cinnamon, it’s a sweet and spicy bright red punch.

A plot of sorrel grew next to the house we rented for use as an office in Clare Valley, a fishing village just south of us. Everyday we’d walk past the agricultural plot, watching the plants grow from seedlings to shoulder-height hearty bushes in a matter of months. It was December when the bushes erupted in the large flower buds, the calyces were harvested, and the following day the bushes were cleared, making room for a new crop.

In Seattle, we can find sorrel year round, made from dried flowers. When we’re missing St. Vincent, we head to our neighborhood Caribbean restaurant, Kallaloo www.kallalooseattle.com, and order a sorrel.