Afia’s Sobolo Recipe

photo of a red drink in a stout glass with ice and a sliver of orange on the rim

Sobolo Recipe

  • 1 pineapple (peel, fruit and 5 stems from crown)
  • 2 large thumbs (~1/3 cup) of ginger peeled 
  • 15 grains of selim*
  • 7 african nutmeg* 
  • 2 tbsp cloves 
  • 2 dried chillies* 
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorn 
  • 1 tsp grains of paradise*
  • 1 cup dates pitted
  • 16 cups of water
  • Sugar to taste

Notes: * All these spices are optional. You can completely remove them and replace with an additional 1/2 tbsp of cloves and 2 cinnamon sticks or not replace them at all. The flavoring is incredibly customizable


  1. Clean the pineapple by soaking in a water and vinegar solution for 2-3 minutes
  2. While the pineapple is soaking, soak the dates in warm water then drain when nice and soft
  3. Pluck a few leaves from the pineapple crown and peel the pineapple
  4. Cut the pineapple fruit in chunks removing the core 
  5. In a blender, blend the pineapple fruit with the ginger and dates till smooth
  6. In a pot, add the pineapple leaves, skin, blended mixture, and spices with 10 cups of water and bring to a boil. Do not cover the pot otherwise it will splash
  7. One the water has come to a boil, add the sorrel and bring the heat down to allow the mixture to steep at a rolling boil
  8. Let it steep for at least 30 minutes, then turn off the stove
  9. Add sugar to taste, I added ~ 3/4 cup of brown sugar, adding 1/4 at a time and tasting to make sure I was getting the right sweetness
  10. Let it cool till the drink is completely cool (room temperature)
  11. Strain drink with a fine mesh strainer
  12. Bottle and keep in the fridge or keep in a cooler for a picnic

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