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Healthy Roselle Juice

by Che-Cheh on August 24, 2011 35,817 views

in Juice & Shake

I was first introduced to Roselle at my local wet market earlier this year. This lovely maroon color ‘fruit’ from the hibiscus family caught my eyes as I was exiting the market. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Pretty and mysterious! Unfortunately I didn’t buy any at that time because we were busy planning for Chinese New Year reunion dinner. Fast forward to last week, I chanced upon Roselle again at the most unlikely place – at the pasar malam near my house (night market). Happy me!

The wet market vendor told me the Malays usually make Roselle drinks and serve during Hari Raya Aidilfitri. He said its taste is quite similar to Ribena. Coincidentally the July-August issue of Flavors magazine also features a couple of hibiscus recipes including Roselle. I’ll share the recipe when I make them.

Right now, let’s make an easy and delicious Roselle drink.

Roselle Juice

Thirst-quenching… gulp gulp gulp. Finished! Hehe


This is Roselle. Lovely eh?

Initially I thought it was a flower. But nope, they called it fruits. To be precised this is actually the calyx. And what is calyx? Calyx is the usually green part that enclose the flowers in bud stage ~ wiki (in this case red!). From what I gather, the flowers will drop off and the fruits will start to grow bigger.


I bought 480g of Roselle for RM4.00 (counted 37 fruits). This is just half of it.

Roselle is rich in powerful antioxidants (flavonoids and anthocyanins), vitamins A, B and C. The calyx is use for treating urinary track infection, constipation, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. ~ source Flavors magazine

To make Roselle juice, you first need to de-seed the fruits.

Here’s a simple step by step guide on how to remove Roselle seed from the calyxes.

Cut Calyx With Knife or Use Thumb To Peel

Using a knife or thumb, cut/peel the calyx in the middle.

Calyx & Seed Inside

You can now see the seed inside.

Peel Calyx

Now use your thumb to peel the calyx. Careful, you may find some thorns at the outer layer of calyx. I got poked twice. A little troublesome to remove the needle. Haha

Calyx & Seed

Now you have the calyx and seed separated.
Can you see the red coloring at my finger tips? Don’t worry, the red coloring stain can be washed off easily.

Now if you are into gardening, you might want to dry the seed and plant some in your garden. That way you will always have fresh supply of Roselle. I am gonna do just that.

Peeled Calyxes

Next wash the calyxes to get rid of dirt.

We are now ready to make Roselle juice.

Boil Calyxes With Water & Sugar

Add calyxes, sugar and water in a large pot. Boil for 15-20 minutes. Strain the calyxes and discard. Serve Roselle juice chilled or warm.

You can try adding ginger, lemon, mint, lemongrass to the juice for some varieties. Add a few stevia (sugar leaves) – natural sweetener if want to lessen the use of sugar.

I find that boiling 15 minutes will give Roselle juice a light refreshing and aromatic berry-like taste. 20 minutes is top if you want a thicker ‘Ribena’ taste. Anything longer than that will yield a sweeter juice which can be turned into cordial/syrup instead of juice.

Roselle Juice

Roselle juice is simply delicious and healthy!
Just couldn’t believe it at first that it taste really like Ribena. A little dumbfounded. Haha

Can you guess who finished my 2nd batch of Roselle juice? Non other than my mom. I only had a cup. Sob sob.

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Roselle Juice

15-20 pieces Roselle calyx
2.5L water
1 to 1.5 cups sugar – according to taste (you can sub with honey or rock sugar)
(start with 1 cup sugar, if you plan to add ice cubes later it’s okay to make the juice sweeter as the ice will melt)

1. Peel calyx and discard the seed. Rinse calyxes.

2. Add calyxes, sugar and water in a large pot and boil for 15-20 minutes.

3. Strain and discard calyxes.

4. Serve warm or chilled or with ice cubes.

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

smallkucing August 24, 2011 at 9:10 pm

ooo thanks for this post. will try it out. saw a lot at the pasar mlm here


Che-Cheh August 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Cool. I think I bought mine rather expensive.


Nava Krishnan August 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I have tried this drink before Amy and quite like the taste. Certainly have not made it at home.


Che-Cheh August 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Did you tried it at restaurant?


tandteacake August 25, 2011 at 7:43 am

Gosh these look just so pretty! Too bad that it’s rather unlikely for me to find roselles where I live. :( But until I somehow get the chance, I’ll need to gaze at your pictures! I am so intrigued with them to taste supposedly like ribena…



Che-Cheh August 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Hi Tobias, Thanks for dropping by. Your recipe photos are drool-worthy as well. :)

Even after I was informed about the ribena-like taste, I am still very surprise when I tasted it myself. You can try hunting for Roselle at Asian store. Australia, Caribbean, Latin America, Africa are some of the countries that utilize Roselle as well. They may have a different name for it.


sara August 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Such an interesting post…I had never heard of this sort of juice! It looks so beautiful and delicious…if I ever find these fruits I will have to try it! :)


Che-Cheh August 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Hi Sara, Oh yeah it’s unique ya.


Raquel Edwards August 26, 2011 at 2:35 am

In the Caribbean this is called sorrel and it’s a traditional Christmas-time drink.


Che-Cheh August 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Cool. Thanks for the info. I heard that even the leaf can be cooked.


Von August 27, 2011 at 8:39 am

The roselles look so pretty :) But ouch, those thorns sound painful!!
I love ribena- I wish we had roselles here!


Che-Cheh August 28, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Hi Von,
If you refer to Roselle in Wikipedia, it mentioned that in Australia it is known as rosella or rosella fruit. Have a look out on it when you go to market next time. :)


suvarna September 3, 2011 at 11:49 pm

it really a good drink. I really love the way you presented.


Che-Cheh September 4, 2011 at 1:16 am

Hi Suvarna, hope you’re able to try it one day. :)


Julliena October 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I tasted it in a restaurant in Penang. I drank the juice and also ate the calyx. I quite like the crunchy texture.


DC September 6, 2011 at 12:45 am

Oh? We have to remove the seeds?

I just emptied the whole bag in and boil! LOL!


Che-Cheh September 6, 2011 at 10:30 am

Wah… haha so how’s the juice? ok?


kunch43 September 21, 2011 at 1:59 am

This is my favorite drink! I first tried it in Costa Rica and crave it often! Thanks for posting the recipe! I can’t wait to try it!


Che-Cheh September 21, 2011 at 7:49 am

Hi Kunch43, I’m craving for it right now but I have no Roselle anymore. :(
Anyway hope you like it.


wendy wong October 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm

hi, I am a singaporean and currently staying in Johore. can I get roselle plants at pasar malams in Johore Bahru Which part of Johore Bahru. I love your recipes.


Che-Cheh October 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Hi Wendy, glad you like my recipes. As I’m not from JB I’m unable to tell you the answer but you can try looking at pasar malam.


polly January 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Hi , i have a couple of roselle plants and anyone living in JB can email me for cuttings [ much easier to grow than from seeds.] After making the juice, don’t throw away the pulp – just add rock sugar and stir again until it becomes jam !
then enjoy !


wendy November 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Hi, polly which part of JB are u staying. would like to get some roselle cuttings from u


Justus March 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

The drink is very wonderful


Che-Cheh March 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Yes very delicious :)


Jane April 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Hi there, where can I find roselle, if not in a night market? Any retail outlets in KL?


Che-Cheh April 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Hi Jane, You can try your local wet market especially Malay’s stalls or you can ask your Malay friends. They will most likely know about this.


nadia June 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm

hi, may i know exactly where u got this roselle..which area?..because im in a research study using this fruit, but susah nak dpt these days..btw im in shah alam selangor


Che-Cheh June 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Hi Nadia, I bought it at a Klang market and pasar malam. For the Klang market, the vendor are no longer selling, as for the pasar malam one I don’t encounter them selling anymore. If you are looking for the plant, I know where to get it.


ara September 5, 2012 at 9:36 am

i sell fresh and dried roselle also juice (pure no peservetive added), dried in malaysia Rm15.00/200g (ekonomi),Rm22.00/200g(premium/selected),juice Rm6.00 /liter(kl n shah Alam )..home made
further details plc email fon/sms:0173735530


Michael September 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Roselle is one of my favorite plants. I just harvested some today. I’m going to dehydrate them to store for later. I often mix it with kombucha. I love the look of those long and pointy ones you have pictured. The ones we have around here are more roundish, and the pointy parts on the ends aren’t as long. I’ve been trying for years to get some seed of the varieties grown in Malaysia and other places. Our varieties have some undesirable qualities and I want to experiment with some new kinds. I know a Latin grocery, about 4 hours drive from me, that sells dried calyxes for $5/lb, from Mexico, which is cheaper than I can grow it, so I like to stock up when I’m there. They call it “flor de Jamaica.” In Jamaica, they call it sorrel, which around here is a name given to many diverse things that taste sour. Anyway, if anyone can mail me some good seeds, I’ll mail you a check for some reasonable price. Email me at I’ve already got the kind sold by Baker Creek Seeds, which they call “Thai red roselle.”


Silke December 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Thanks for the sharing the Roselle juice recipe! Just discovered them at Fireflies organic farm in Singapore and bought a bag without knowing what to do with them – now they are happily boiling on the stove and I look forward to a delicious juice for dinner:-)


Che-Cheh December 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm

You’re welcome. :)
If you intend to grow them yourself, make sure you save the seeds ya.


KLGirl February 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm

I love roselle tea. Just made a huge batch of the syrup as well as jam. Nice to know so many other people enjoy it too.


Che-Cheh February 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm


I’ve tried making jam as well. Yes they are delicious. Ahh nice to know you have your own Roselle shrubs. :)


Bev July 25, 2013 at 11:57 am

Just wondering if you can advise as to whether it is safe to drink roselle whilst taking medication ( tablets.) for heart/cholestrol etc problems.
I am also wanting to try the drink called Xamthone, a mixture of mangostein & roselle but a little hesitant due to taking medication.
Any advise given would be much appreciated.
Many Thanks.


Che-Cheh July 25, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Hi Bev, I’m not a medical expert therefore unable to give you any advice. Best is to consult your doctor. :)


evelyn g-koh September 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm

heard of this fruit but never tried b4. I bought some at the Gaya Street weekly fair. The seller told me to just boil & add rock sugar which I substituted with ordinary sugar. Hmmm my hubby, granddaughter & me loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee it. Tq for sharing.


Che-Cheh September 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Hi Evelyn, You’re most welcome. If you want a healthier alternative, you can substitute sugar with honey. :)


Alex September 21, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Do you know how long the Roselle drink can be stored in the fridge for? If we happen to make extra that is.



Che-Cheh September 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Hi Alex, Sorry I don’t know. We always empty the roselle drink within a day or two.


kimming October 28, 2014 at 4:23 pm

boiling destroys flavanoids rich in the roselle itself… cut into slivers … compress into a mason jar… blend brown sugar or glucose and honey into slight syrupy consistency…. pour into mason jar containing compressed roselle… leave capped for 4-5 days … bubbles will form as a sign of natural fermentation by natural lacto bacteria on roselle…. spoon onto plain yogurt for breakfast….


Che-Cheh October 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Hi Kimming, this is a really great idea! :)


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