Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

An Almost Jamaican Christmas Story

While doing some rigorous window shopping over the weekend with the family, we all decided to take a break and grab some Mexican food. We walked into a cute little Mexican restaurant that we had noticed while on our visual shopping spree.

While everybody was deciding on Burritos or Tacos, my eyes caught a delicious looking red beverage bubbling away in the shiny juice machine sitting beside the cash register. Something about this drink looked so familiar to me. I knew right away that it was not just your average generic fruit punch. Its texture was too glossy and robust looking. I turned to my honey and said excitedly “That looks just like Sorrel!”

I questioned the lady behind the counter about what the juice was, and she proceeded to tell me proudly in her heavy Spanish accent that it was from a plant that only grows in Mexico. She poured me a little sample while explaining that it was good for your blood. I sipped the tart and very unmistakable flavor of Sorrel, and told her that the beverage was a traditional Christmas drink in my country and that my people called it Sorrel.

She frowned at me in disbelief and argued with me that the drink was strictly Mexican. Not convinced, I asked the lady what they called the beverage in Mexico. I burst out laughing as she condescendingly pronounced and spelled out the name slowly to my poor ignorant ears.

“HA-MY-KA…J-A-M-A-I-C-A.

Susan Andrea Warmington

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8 Comments:

At 12/06/2008 1:39 PM, Anonymous ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID said...

Extremely hilarious!!But seriously, sorrel is one of my favorite beverages.Thank God, it is now available all year, as opposed to just being seasonal in terms of Christmas. Nuff respect!!ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID

 
At 12/06/2008 3:49 PM, Blogger Susie said...

Yes Esteban. I Love HAMYKA too!
HA-HAYY!

 
At 12/12/2008 8:28 AM, Blogger Fly Girl said...

That is hillarious! "Jamaica" is a very popular drink in Mexico but I don't think anybody ever considers why the drink has that name!

 
At 12/12/2008 11:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have also come across this drink in S. Calif. Mexican restaurants. Sometimes it is labelled "Jamaica", sometimes "Hibiscus". Seems to be more common the closer you get to the Mexican border. But it is not nearly as bitter as sorrel.

 
At 12/13/2008 11:23 PM, Blogger Gussie said...

Jamaican souvenirs are being made in China, now this.

 
At 1/24/2009 2:41 PM, Blogger kamilah said...

Actually, in Spanish, Jamaica is pronounced Ha-my-ka. And yes, Sorrel is known as Agua de Jamaica in Mexico. I suspect that since there is travel between Jamaica and Belize, and Belize is right next to Mexico, that Sorrel might have gotten to Mexico through this route - but this is just my theory. I discovered this about a year ago and find it hilarious - wi likkle but wi tallawah!

 
At 2/05/2009 12:14 PM, OpenID longbench said...

We are all assuming that sorrel is indigenous to Jamaica, or must have originated here, and thus made its way to Mexico. Jamaicans are not the only people in the Caribbean who drink either. The answer to the question of why sorrel is called "Flor de Jamaica" in Mexico lies somewhere else for sure.

 
At 10/22/2009 6:37 PM, Blogger staceyleel said...

Susan is this the same one that was my friend growing up in Stony Hills.

 

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