Zobo (Sorrel) "Chapman"


Chapman is a popular punch/drink in Nigeria, not so sure where it originated from, my guess is that its got some Lebanese/Caribbean influences.

Chapman is basically a cocktail of sugary drinks. sugary syrup and a couple of sliced cucumber and loads of ice. Alcohol may also be added to provide an exciting kick to the drink. No doubt, Chapman can be quite refreshing especially on a hot summer day, but I tend to avoid drinking it because of its high sugar content. I have tried in the past to make a variation of this drink with some success....I say some success, not because the outcome of my creation was not equally refreshing/delicious, but because it could not really be called "Chapman".

On an on going basis. I have continued to experiment, trying to achieve a close match a possible and today, I share my best Chapman variant recipe to-date.

Funke Koleosho's Zobo Chapman
I am a huge fan of sorrel/roselle (read more about roselle/zobo petal benefits here) because of the high nutritional benefits. So, I based most of my creations around it. The use of sugar is inevitable in making Chapman, but I have used the smallest quantity possible and have also used apple juice to increase sweetness.I did not use any of the fizzy drinks which are a key ingredient in making the traditional drink. So instead of using fizzy drinks, I used carbonated water to give the drink its "fizziness" which makes it all the more exciting.

The result; it looks like Chapman and tastes really delicious and refreshing. Some may contest the taste, but actually the taste of Chapman vary so much depending on who makes it. Also the ratios of ingredients used contribute greatly to the wide variation in tastes and flavours of the resulting drink.

If like me, you are conscious of what you eat/drink, you may prefer my version of this popular drink.... See full recipe below.

What you need
  • Sorrel (zobo) petals (this will be used to make zobo syrup)
  • Brown sugar
  • Carbonated or sparkling water
  • Cucumber slices
  • Lemon slices (optional)
  • Ice cubes (Alternatively. use plastic ice cubes if you don't want the ice to melt and alter the taste of your drink, as I have in this recipe.)
  • Apple juice
  • Pinch of spices such as ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.(optional)

What to do
  1. The first step is to make a syrup from the zobo leaves.Wash the leaves and place in a blender with some hot water. 
  2. Blend into a pulp. 
  3. Sieve the blended leaves from the juice resulting from the blending process. 
  4. Transfer into a pan and add some brown sugar. 2 part of the zobo juice to 1 part of sugar. If you are sweet tooth you can increase the amount of sugar added. remember that you can still blend with apple juice later. Also add some spices such as ground cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg. A pinch of each spice is sufficient. Use more if preferred.
  5. Then heat up the mixture until all the sugar has dissolved. Under low heat, allow the mixture to thicken a little but try to avoid boiling. Allow to cool and store in a bottle for later use. 
  6. In  a large jug, add all the ingredients in this ratio: 2 parts of zobo syrup, 2 parts of sparkling water, 1 part of apple juice. Ensure the apple juice and sparkling water are added chilled. 
  7. Stir all together then add cucumber slices, ice cubes and some lemon slices. This is optional as the zobo syrup will also contribute tartness to the drink. 
  8. Serve super chilled.


Zobo Chapman

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