Hibiscus Drink Recipe: How to Make Nigerian Zobo Drink

Hibiscus drink recipe is produced from dried Roselle plant flowers (Hibiscus Sabdariffa) and is well known by Nigerians as zobo or hibiscus tea.

Hibiscus tea  is ruby red in color and has a sour taste.

Zobo, Sobo or Zoborodo is a healthy popular Nigerian drink made from the dried red calyces and sepals of the Roselle plant.

Sobo drink as it is commonly called in Nigeria is derived from the name of its parent plant called Zoborodo.

Hibiscus Drink Recipe’s Origin and Naming

The name originally came from Nigeria, West Africa, however, since this it started gaining popularity all over the world and consumed in many places, it  is being called by various names.

This African drink is also popularly called Bissap drink in Senegal, Sobolo in Ghana, Sorrel in most of the Caribbean, Agua de Jamaica (Jamaican flower in English).

It is known as Karkade in parts of Northern Africa Rosella in Indonesia, Roselle in English-speaking countries and many other names from different areas as well.

Where to Buy Hibiscus Leaves

Dried bissap leaves can be easily sourced from local markets at very affordable prices in Nigeria. There you can get sorrel drink for sale in case you cannot make yours at home.

Hibiscus Drink Recipe Leaves
Hibiscus Drink Recipe Leaves

How to Dry Hibiscus Flowers

In Nigeria, we normally dry under the sun especially, during the dry season. Spread the calyces out to dry in a place where they do not get direct sunlight.

Alternatively, you can use a dehydrator to dry the calyces.  After drying, remove the seeds from inside of each calyx.

Store the dried calyces in a glass jar.

Best Time to Drink Hibiscus Tea

It is important to consume this herbal tea at the right time. But which time is the right time?

It is a known fact that hibiscus tea, in some cases, can cause dizziness and hallucinations.

Therefore precautions must be taken if you are operating heavy machinery, or doing other tasks which require focus such as driving.

On the other hand, one of the major benefits is that it produces a feeling of calmness to the body, relaxing the stressed-out parts.

This makes it the best drink for relaxation in the evening time, before a nap, or even at night before going to bed.

Zobo Drink Nutritional Values

Zobo drink is a very nutritious drink and it is cheap. Regular intake of this drink can fight nutritional deficiencies and prevent malnutrition.

Some important and vital nutrients of bissap drink are carotenes, vitamin C, thiamine, calcium, fat, iron, fiber, phosphorous, riboflavin, and niacin.

Benefits and Side Effects of Sorrel Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus tea or juice is not only refreshing and relaxing, it aids in skin glow, to regulate blood pressure, contain anti diabetic properties.

It also reduces cholesterol, strengthens blood vessels, calms the nerves, reduces stress, for weight loss, and to treat fertility in men by improving sperm quality.

However, it is not advisable for a pregnant woman to drink Hibiscus juice as it can stimulate bloodstream and make the menstruation comes then lead to abortion.

It is best not to take zobo drink while breastfeeding as it can endanger the mother and her baby.

In addition, regular consumers should also not drink Zobo too much. Since over consumption can cause dizziness and hallucination in some cases, and can give bad impact on the kidney.

How to Make Hibiscus Tea

Another zobo leaves name is African hibiscus leaves which is pluck out from the Hibiscus tree-a flowering plant.

You can extract zobo drink from the leaves through steam distillation . You dry the leaves first, before using it to make hibiscus drink recipe.

Hibiscus Tea Recipe

It is very easy to prepare all you need are the following items.


  • Dried hibiscus leaves
  • Water
  • Spices like cinnamon, ginger, etc
  • Fruits like pineapple bark, orange, lemon. etc
  • Sugar (optional)


  1. Firstly, wash the Roselle leaves with clean water
  2. Secondly,, put it inside put, add water and boil it for about 15 minutes
  3. After that, add your sliced fruits and spices
  4. Then, boil it for additional 20 minutes
  5. Finally, remove it from the fire and sieve off the chaff. Your Nigerian zobo drink is ready.

Serve with ice and sliced fruits. Enjoy it on a hot sunny day with Nigerian Meat Pie, Buns, puff puff and any other Nigerian snacks.



Zobo drinks also known as Hibiscus tea, can aid in relieving menstrual cramps as well as helping to bring back balance as well.

This could help with your depression, mood swings, and even overindulging habits during that time of the month.


Zobo’ drink is very active in managing hypertensive properties said nutritional biochemist, Dr. Ochuko Eruhainure.

It has anti-hypertensive properties that can help you reduce your cholesterol.  Zobo consumption can control hypertension and diabetes

Weight Loss

Zobo helps in losing weight. Zobo consumption gives the full feeling in your stomach and prevents you from having too much appetite. It controls your appetite effectively.

If you don’t eat that much, due to your controlled appetite, your body will use your body fat as compensation and consequently, you will lose weight.

It is a case of fewer calories, more weight loss.


Reduction in the production of estrogen means no ovulation and when you are not ovulating, you can’t get pregnant.

Daily zobo drink consumption can lower your chances of getting pregnant but once you stay away from the drink, your fertility level will go back up.


Zobo drink is a healthy and medicinal drink for Asthmatic and Ulcer patient because it contains ginger.

It also improves Sperm count and motility by improving men’s sperm quality. For better results, pair this drink with ginger and consume regularly.




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