Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

Cheers to Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise and Chef and Steward’s Jamaican Christmas Sorrel Drink

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
From And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.

Jamaican Christmas Sorrel Drink

Recipe originally published by Chef and Steward here.




  • 6 cups sorrel (hibiscus, karkade, roselle)
  • 24 cups/5.5L water
  • 1kg + 2 cups brown cane sugar
  • 1 L red wine (preferably port)
  • ½ cup Appleton Jamaican Rum (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 2 inches peeled fresh Jamaican Indian ginger sliced in 3- pieces


  1. Bring the water to a low boil in a large stockpot
  2. Add hibiscus, cloves, allspice and ginger and simmer for 10-15 minutes
  3. Remove from heat and let it sit until cool, preferably overnight.
  4. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve, discarding the trash.
  5. Add the sugar, wine (and rum if using) and stir repeatedly until all the sugar crystals at the bottom of the liquid dissolve.
  6. Pour into glass bottles with airtight caps and leave on counter for 2-3 days to ferment slightly.
  7. Transfer bottles to fridge and keep for up to a year. The drink gets better with age. Some of the sugars will be converted to alcohol as the drink matures with age, which is why I have made it very sweet. If too sweet upon serving, simply dilute with a little water.
  8. You can also serve it immediately, though it’s best when made at least a week in advance. Serve over lots of ice, as it is sweet especially if freshly made.

For more Jamaican Christmas recipes by Chef and Stewardcheck out this amazing collection of recipes.

About Chef and Steward

Chef and Steward is a head chef and wife family blog devoted to enriching and transforming people’s lives through food, travel, lifestyle and wellness.

We are a husband and wife team on an epicurean journey. After all, life is bland without good food and good times. As much as we are intrigued by gastronomical delights, we are trying to balance both the kitchen and bathroom scales (ha)! Healthy food can be tasty and tasty food can be healthy. Food is medicine but that doesn’t mean it ought to taste like it. We run a mostly low carb, paleo, keto, gluten free Chef and Steward Test Kitchen at home.

About Sanura

Art Director/Senior Graphic Designer at Food Writer at


This entry was posted on December 27, 2017 by in 2017, drinks, Kujichagulia, Recipe and tagged , , , , , , .

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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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