Mommy’s Authentic Jamaican Irish Moss (Sea Moss) Drink Recipe.

Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe

For decades, the powerhouse Irish Moss drink in Jamaica is praised for its   “strongback” and “stamina” benefits. However, the Jamaican sea moss, popularly called “Irish Moss” is loaded with important vitamins. minerals and many health benefits. 

While seaweeds are not created equal, you cannot deny their many natural nutrition and health benefits. 

I grew up drinking Irish moss as early as in my teen years. However, the pudding-like texture formed after it is refrigerated is my favorite way to enjoy eating. 

My next-door neighbor “Granny” often made it and ensured I received a bottle. I recalled her boiling a bunch of root-looking food and seeds. She later strained, sweetened with condensed milk, and flavored with spices to make a delicious drink. In addition, rum was often added as a flavoring agent and as a preservative.

 

Are Irish Moss and Sea Moss The Same Thing?

Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe
(a) Caribbean Sea Moss
Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe
(b) Dried Sea Moss

Even though their names are used interchangeably, there are differences between Sea Moss and Irish Moss.

Jamaican Sea Moss

Sea Moss (d) is a thick gelatinous root-looking seaweed is found in abundance in the Caribbean sea. The Jamaican sea moss is used to make Jamaica’s most famous Irish moss drink. 

Irish Moss

Irish moss (c), in comparison, is scientifically known as Chondrus  Crispus. It is flat, leafy, and reddish-purple in color.

It gained its name and became popular during the Irish potato famine  the 1800s. Consequently, the Irish people had to resort to the sea for food. Their eating of the seaweeds  found growing on the rocks in the sea was what coined the term Irish Moss . (Atlantic Gold Sea Moss)

Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe
(c) Irish Moss
Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe
(d) Jamaican Re-hydrated Sea Moss

Sea Moss Nutrition Facts

Both gold sea moss and the purplish Irish Moss share similar nutrition contents and health benefits. 

According to Medical News Today, sea moss is rich in vitamins and minerals. 2 tablespoons provide 7.2 mg calcium, 14.4 mg magnesium, 15.7 phosphorus, and 1 gram contains 47 mg of Iodine. 

Similarly, as with fruits and vegetables, the nutrition content of seaweed will vary based on where it is grown and the condition under which it grows.

In addition, this seaweed also contains: potassium, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese.  Many companies harvest sea moss to extract a carbohydrate called Carrageenan. It is used as a thickening or stabilization agent in many food products. I have observed it as an ingredient in many of the nut milk sold in many local grocery stores.

Health Benefits of Sea Moss

There are some antioxidant and collagen properties that are said to promote good hair, skin, and nails. Medical News Today also mentioned that sea moss has prebiotics that may help with immunity, Gastrointestinal health, and consequent weight loss. However, more studies need to be conducted to support these health claims.  

Let’s Explore 3 Of The Jamaican Irish Moss Ingredients

While there are variations in Irish moss preparation, these 3 ingredients have been a part of  Jamaica’s authentic Irish Moss drink recipe for decades. I am not sure of the exact reasons why they are added to the drink. However, they do provide some form of benefits. Here is what I found during my research.

Isinglass 

Isinglass Jamaican irish sea mossThis reminds me of a bunch of loose white plastic twines.  Isinglass is a form of gelatin that is made up of collagen proteins. 

It is extracted from the bladder of sturgeon fishes. Therefore, if you are Vegan, you may want to omit this ingredient from the recipe.

Many food companies use isinglass as a stabilizing agent for many alcoholic beverages such as wines and beers. The addition of isinglass to these alcoholic beverages helps them remain stabilized for long periods during storage, transport, and temperature changes (Pubmed). I assume for this same reason, this ingredient was added to the Jamaican Irish Moss drink.

Flax Seeds or Linseeds

flax seeds linseeds Jamaican Irish sea mossFlax seeds, or linseeds as commonly called by most Jamaicans, are considered and marketed today as a superfood. This has been an ingredient in the Jamaican Irish Moss drink for decades. 

Apparently, Jamaicans were in on the health craze and saw linseeds as a powerful health food back in the day. 

There are many nutrition and health claims on the internet. However, there are a number of published research articles that have backed up some of these claims. 

Healthline  showcases the top 10 health benefits of flax seeds. In summary, they are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. 

They are said to lower the risk of cancer due to their lignan content, help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure and may benefit people living with Diabetes.

What Is Gum Arabic?

Arabic Gum Jamaican Irish sea mossGum Arabic is like dark brown crystals. I am interested to know what inspired the idea of using it as an ingredient in Jamaica’s Irish Moss Drink? My mom does not know all the answers. The recipe was passed down from generation to generation. The bottom line is that it is a healthy and delicious drink.
 
 Nutrition Journal Article describes Gum Arabic as a mixture of polysaccharides and glycoproteins that is approved by the FDA as a safe dietary fiber. The gum is harvested from the Acacia Senegal or seyal trees. They are used in the food industry as an emulsifier, thickening agent, and flavor stabilizer. 
 

Gum Arabic Health Benefits

These gum crystals are not digested by the body of humans or any animals. However, it is fermented by gastrointestinal bacteria to provide many health benefits such as prebiotic properties that help promote healthy digestive health. 

The Nutrition Journal article showed that 4 weeks of supplementation with Gum Arabic helps with lowering blood cholesterol, has shown to have anticarcinogenic and antioxidant effects. In theory, it may also help with weight loss.

Why I love Jamaican Sea Moss Drink

I have been drinking Irish Moss for years. The ingredients and methods of preparation vary across the island of Jamaica and the Caribbean. 

I love the versatility of the recipe. However, the authentic Jamaican Irish Moss drink recipe was recently taught to me by mom; the recipe is now being shared with you. Food Explora will also share a simple non-dairy Vegan recipe. This drink is great for the holidays but can also be enjoyed any time of the year.

The Irish moss drink is nutritious and very filling. Writing this blog, sparked a deeper appreciation for the drink and the Jamaican food culture.

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Check out these cool finds on Amazon. Enclosed are links for your shopping convenience. Some of the ingredients were purchased from a local health food store here in Brooklyn NYC. Moreover, I have provided you with the Amazon links in the ingredient section for your shopping convenience.

 

Mommy's Authentic Jamaican Irish Moss (Sea Moss) Drink Recipe.

Here are all the ingredients You Will Need.

Below are some amazon ingredient links for your shopping convenience.

Jamaican Irish Moss

Condensed Milk

2% milk

cow's milk

Flax or Linseeds

Bacardi Coconut rum Jamaican irish sea moss

Bacardi Rum

Vanilla Extract

Isinglass

Whole Nutmeg

Almond Milk

Gum Arabic

Ground Cinnamon

Brown Sugar

You will also love these cooking utensils below. Click on each picture for more details.

Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe

Mommy's Authentic Jamaican Irish Moss Sea Moss Drink Recipe

Kevin Foodie
This is the perfect drink for any occasion. Irish moss drink is easy to make, healthy, and very filling. Add some Bacardi Coconut Rum and magic is created. Are You Vegan or lactose intolerant? There is a recipe for you too.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Drinks
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 20 people

Equipment

  • Large Pot
  • Blender
  • Bowls
  • Sieve or Strainer
  • Wooden Spoon
  • 3 Glass Jars (about 24 oz each)
  • Ladle

Ingredients
  

Sea Moss Gel

  • 16 oz. Sea Moss
  • 1 cup Organic Flax Seed
  • ¼ oz. Isinglass
  • 2 oz. Organic Gum Arabic
  • 16 cups Water

The Jamaican Irish Moss Drink

  • 1 cup Irish Moss Gel
  • 2 cups 2% Milk
  • ¼ cup Condensed Sweetened Milk
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Nutmeg, grated
  • 3 tbsp. Bacardi Coconut Rum

Vegan Dairy-Free Irish Moss Drink

  • 1 cup Irish Moss Gel (without isinglass)
  • 2 cups Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp. Grated Nutmeg
  • cup Honey or Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon Powder
  • 2 tbsp. Rum (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Instructions
 

A Simple Way To Make The Irish Moss Gel

  • Sea Moss is harvested from the sea and has a slight sea or fish-like smell. it also comes with salt, sand, and debris. Some sea moss is sold dried. The ones I purchased, was a bit crusted with salt, but still a bit plump. They had to be stored in the refrigerator.
    Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe
  • Soak sea moss in cool tap water. Under cool running water, wash several times until all the salt, sand, and debris are removed. Leave the washed sea moss in water for 1-2 hours or preferably overnight.
  • In a large pot bring to boil 16 cups water.
  • After soaking, the dried sea moss will double in size and thickness. Drain soaked sea moss and add to the boiling water.
    Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe
  • Add the flax seeds, isinglass, and gum arabic. Some recipes call for bay leaves or cinnamon sticks to be added to the mixture and boiled to flavor the sea moss gel.
    Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe
  • Boil mixture for 45 minutes to 1 hour. As the sea moss mixture boils, most of it will dissolve and the liquid will start to thicken. Use a wooden spoon to stir sea moss gel occasionally.
  • Back in the day, most Jamaicans did not own a blender. The contents were strained through a sieve and the gel was sweetened and spices were added to make this delicious drink. My mom follows this same tradition. However, I choose to blend the content of the sea moss gel mixture with the flax seeds.
  • Scoop the moss gel mixture into a blender and blend on medium for 1-2 minutes. Pour blended mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Use the back of a spoon to press the gel through the sieve. It is perfectly fine if small fragments of the flax seed pass through.
    Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe
  • Do not discard the flaxseed remains or reside in the sieve. Use a spoon to scoop into zip lock bags and store in the freezer. This will be later added to smoothies for added nutrition value.
    Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe
  • After all the mixture is blended and strained, now it is time to jar the sea moss gel that was collected in the bowl. Gather 3 clean, dry glass jars with lids. Use a ladle to spoon the gel into jars. To prevent spillage and mess, I used a funnel to fill the jars.
    Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe
  • Allow jars to cool down before storing them in the refrigerator. This gel will be used as the base to prepare the Irish moss drink.
    Traditionally, at this stage of the process, most Jamaicans would add milk, sweeteners, spices, and rum to the warm sea moss gel. The drink is stored in a jug or bottled and then refrigerated. Some people make a living selling these tasty drinks or punch as some may call it.
    If you are having a family gathering, then making a large batch is ideal. I choose to take the sea moss gel from the jars and make the drink in small portions when needed.
    Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe
  • Sea moss naturally thickens on its own. Moreover adding the flaxseed, gum arabic, and isinglass makes the gel mixture very firm compared to the sea moss gel that is sold in the stores.
    Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe

Let's Make Jamaican Irish Moss Drink (Dairy Version)

  • Measure 1 cup of the sea moss gel and add to a blender. To the gel, add the whole milk, condensed milk, cinnamon powder, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and Bacardi rum. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until creamy smooth. More rum or condensed milk may be added to achieve your desired level of sweetness.
  • Serve in a glass over ice or as is. I personally love my irish moss drink very thick. I enjoy eating with a spoon after it is stored in the refrigerator and forms a jello-like consistency.
    Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe

Prepare The Vegan Sea Moss Drink (non-dairy)

  • If you follow a vegan lifestyle or are lactose intolerant, then this recipe is for you. Since Isinglass is made from fish bladder, you may want to eliminate this ingredient from the process if you are Vegan. Sea moss is often called a sea vegetable, gum arabic is harvested from a tree, flax seeds are plant-based. Therefore these ingredients are ok for Vegans to consume.
  • In a blender, add 1 cup of sea moss gel, nut milk, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon powder, vanilla extract, and your favorite rum (optional). Blend on medium until smooth and creamy. Serve over ice cubes.
    Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe
  • The main advantage for making and storing the sea moss gel as opposed to making the drink the traditional way is that you can incorporate the sea moss gel into any drink or smoothie recipe. Oat, chia seeds, fruits, or vegetables can be blended to make a delicious smoothie. The sea moss gel can also be added to sauces and stews.
Keyword Bacardi Coconut Rum, Drink, Irish Moss, Jamaican Drink, Punch, Sea Moss, Sea Weed

Jamaican Irish Moss Sea Moss Drink.

Jamaican Irish moss sea moss drink recipe

Vegan non-dairy Sea Moss Drink

Jamaican Hominy Corn Porridge.

You are also gonna love this delicious Jamaican Hominy Corn Porridge.

hominy corn porridge

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13 thoughts on “Mommy’s Authentic Jamaican Irish Moss (Sea Moss) Drink Recipe.”

  1. What an interesting recipe. I’ve never tried Irish moss before in a drink but it sounds really delicious.

  2. What do the two types of moss taste like on their own? I’m not really a run or Bacardi drinker, so could you recommend another alcoholic beverage to mix with the Jamaican Irish Moss Drink?

    It seems like a fair amount of prep time is needed, how long can you store the moss drink after you’ve done the cooking stage? That way you can batch cook a lot in one go if it has a long shelf life

    1. I have never eaten sea moss or Irish moss on its own. Traditionally, Jamaican Wray and Nephew rum is used in the drink. I love the flavor of Bacardi. The sea moss gel, when jared and stored in the refrigeration can last for at least 6 months based on my experience. But, this batch never lasts long anyway. The sea moss drink with milk and no rum may have a shorter shelf life. The prep time is just washing off the salt and then soaked over night or for 2 hours to fully rehydrate.

  3. What a interesting recipe! I’ve never heard of this before but it sounds really yummy and unique. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

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