Have an account?

Log In


Pingo one buck promo to call Nigeria

Nigerian Zobo/Hibiscus Punch

May 19, 2009 | 21 Comments

Throwback huh? For me it is anyway. I haven’t had Zobo in like forever, so you can imagine my elation when I discovered the recipe for this bad boy on Congo Cook Book!

In Nigeria, we always got the finished product. I didn’t know what it was made from, all I knew was that I liked it! To discover that it’s made from dried hibiscus leaves, who knew? did you? I didn’t. Off to Whole Foods I went to see if they had it. Lo and behold they did (I get really dramatic sometimes, don’t I, blame it on the… j/k!)

It’s in the section where they have dried herbs, like horsetail, nettle etc. It should have Organic Hibiscus Flowers written on it. I got about 2 cups for 6 bucks and some change. If you don’t have a Whole Foods store near you, Trader Joes or any health food store should carry it.

Zobo is what’s it’s known as in Nigeria, but in Senegal, it’s called Jus de Bissap and Karkady in Egypt. I guess the main difference is that in Nigeria and Senegal, it’s served cold, while it’s served warm in Egypt. Zobo is a tart tasting herbal infusion/tea. It’s kinda like Cranberry juice but not really like it. It’s got a taste that’s unique to it, hence the addition of other additives (lol) like orange, pineapple juice, grated ginger, cinnamon… the list goes on.

Being my first time making it, I kept it simple and added only pineapple juice. The original recipe calls for sugar, but to make this sweet that would be a whole lotta sugar, so I used honey instead and a 1/4 cup of sugar. I also made ‘special’ iced cubes*!

Long story short, to learn how to make Zobo, here’s what you’ll need:

2 cups dried hibiscus flowers aka sorrell/roselle
9 cups water (how I came up with 9, IDK, use 10 if you like)
4 cups pineapple juice
2 tbsps vanilla extract (or the stick, maybe even a cinnamon stick)
1.5 cups honey
1/4 cup sugar
2-3 extra cups water

1. Lightly rinse the hibiscus flowers in cold water.

2. Pour 9 cups water in pot, bring to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, turn off heat and take off stove.

3. Put the rinsed flowers into hot water. Cover and let steep for 1 hr (I was glued to the TV, so I steeped for 1.5 hrs).

4. When time is up, put a paper towel on the inside of a sieve. Get a large deep bowl ready, drain mixture (be sure flowers/sediments don’t go in bowl, sieve twice if you have to). Drain as much liquid from flowers as you can.

5. Pour drained mixture into a pitcher. Add water, pineapple juice and vanilla extract. Taste to gauge how much more sweetness is needed before adding honey and sugar (use more or less depending on how sweet you want it). Stir and refrigerate.

This mixture might still be a bit too concentrated for some, so when serving, use half of the cold zobo and 1/2 cold water with 1-2 ice cubes.

The first pic is of the steeped Zobo/concentrate, unfortunately, I don’t have the pics of the zobo mixed with the pineapple juice etc. I will make it again, so I’ll add the pics then.

*To make ‘special’ ice cubes:
(they’re really not that special, I got the idea from the Food Network mag, but me likey!)

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

In each cube of the ice tray, add 1/2 a tsp of honey and 1 tsp lemon juice. Pour water over and stir each cube. Freeze!

**I noticed someone was referred here from a search for zobo leaves in Nigeria. I think your best bet to get this would be by asking the mallams or whoever sells zobo where they buy the leaves from. Alternatively, you can also ask on a visit to the market.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this recipe!
Rating: 9.3/10 (7 votes cast)
Nigerian Zobo/Hibiscus Punch, 9.3 out of 10 based on 7 ratings

21 Responses to "Nigerian Zobo/Hibiscus Punch"

  1. Courtney says:

    Are the flowers mexican flowers?? I think I seen them at a mexican store?

    • Yetunde says:

      I don’t think so, maybe they just happen to carry it or have a variation of it. I’ve only seen them at Whole Foods so far…

  2. adepeju says:

    i love your site.Please keep it up

    • Yetunde says:

      Thank you so much! I appreciate it and hope to see you around more!!

  3. Moucko Josiane says:

    i love ur receipt,i never knew jus was that rare.In my country (cameroon)is found every where and is called Folere jus or bissap.but have an advice don’t put too much pinenapple juice,because the taste changes after after some few days in the frige.I LOVE UR SITE,it’s so intresting.thanks

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Moucko!

      Thank you! It’s quite popular in Nigeria, more so in the Northern regions. I actually want to remake this, so I’ll keep your advice in mind. Thank you!!!

  4. Moucko Josiane says:

    hi meant ,i never knew zobo jus was that rare.i luv it the jus is so sweet.

    • Yetunde says:

      It’s okay, I know what you meant :)

  5. therra says:

    OMG you’re doing an awesome job with this site. I’ve seen so many interesting recipes. I especially like the palm ooil substitute (annatto seeds). Thanks for the link. May you be BLESSED b’cuz you’re blessing a lot of people with these ideas!!! :-)

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Therra!

      Thank you so much!! Amen and blessings to you too!! Hope to see more comments from you :)

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Therra!

      Thank you so much!! Amen and blessings to you too!! Hope to see more comments from you :)

  6. Tamara says:

    Hey Yetunde, do you by any chance know how to make Kunu and Eko? I’ve craving those two ever since I left Naija

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Tamara!

      I’ve never made them before, but I’ll see what I can do :)

  7. Maimuna says:

    Hello, just a correction. Sobo is not made from hibiscus but from Sorrel. Can be found in Jamaican shops in the UK. And in Nigeria it’s readily available in the market.

    • Yetunde says:

      The botanical name is Hibiscus sabdariffa, common names for hibiscus include Roselle, rosemallow, Jamaica Sorrel and red sorrel. In essence, they are one and the same thing.

    • amarachi says:

      thanks so much for the tips.i recently moved into the states and still don’t know how to go about getting sorrel leaves,and vanillas.leave in tennessee

      • Yetunde says:

        Hey Amarachi!

        Welcome! I would recommend looking for grocery stores that tag themselves as being organic or home grown. So, you should be looking at stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes to get sorrel leaves and vanilla pods.

        Hope that helps and feel free to ask more questions!

  8. Telly says:

    I live in the Caribbean and its pretty much called Sorrel.. never thought of the plant as a Hibsicus really.. but here you have it.. very interesting. Its pretty popular during the Christmas season.

  9. Mary says:

    I live in Mali and we have it everywhere too. There are both white and red flowers, but the red is most common. They even use the leaves of the plant in their sauces. The drink is prepared in many ways. It can be just straight forward juice with nothing but water and sugar. One of the favorites is bissap (or “Da” in the local language) with ginger in it. it can get pretty spicy according to taste but they go quite well together. Sometimes a kool-aide type drink is mixed in as well. It’s easy to play around with and get a winner.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Mary!

      I love that different cultures have their own variations of it. I love ginger in anything, so yeah, that would be a sure winner with me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please leave these two fields as-is:

Protected by Invisible Defender. Showed 403 to 480,091 bad guys.

What is 8 + 13 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)