Fancy having a party and setting a bowl of zobo in the centre, every guest can scoop as much as they like or even add liqueur.
If we were to have a national drink, it might be zobo. I recall it became very popular in the ’90s even though it had been consumed in many parts of Nigeria before that, particularly the north. My mum remembers drinking this often in Kaduna where she grew up, she still calls it “Zoborodo”. Zobo is a popular street drink across Nigeria. If there is a list of Street drinks in Lagos, you will find Zobo, Adoyo, Pito, and Kunu.
I took a stock of recipes on the blog and I was surprised I hadn’t ever documented Zobo recipe. Interesting. Maybe I considered zobo the easiest thing to make like everyone knows how to make zobo and probably there are a dime and a dozen recipes out there. Anyways this is my method of making Zobo (yeah this is a my-zobo-is better-than-your-brag lol😁)
Zobo is known by many names in different countries, its botanical name is Hibiscus sabdariffa. It is Ishapa pupa amongst the Yorubas, Yakuwa in Hausa, some parts of northern Nigeria Zobo or Zoborodo, Roselle or Rosella fruit in parts of Jamaica and Australia, Sorrel, Karkadeh in Arabic and so on!
Zobo is said to be packed with nutritional benefits as it contains vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.
You can make Zobo into popsicles for children
So here is how I make zobo drink
- 5 litres water
- 2 pressed cup dried zobo leaves
- Peels of 2 pineapple
- ¼ cup dried ginger
- 1 fistful lemongrass leaves (you should try boiling with bay leaf sometime, glorious!)
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Sugar or sweetener of choice (to taste)
- In a large pot bring your water to boil.
- Once boiled add pineapple peels, lemongrass, cloves, ginger, cinnamon. Turn the heat down and let them boil for 10 mins
- After boiling the other ingredients for 10 minutes, add the zobo leaves and turn the heat off.
- Keep the pot covered and leave the brew to cool down completely.
- Decant the brew using a mesh sieve. Discard the pulp or if you are a gardener add it to your Compost
- Add sugar or sweetener
- I like to add slices of cucumber and lime and leave it to infuse in the drink it gives a lovely flavour to the zobo. This is optional
- Refrigerate till very cold before serving.