How to Make an Irish Moss Drink


Irish moss, Chondrus crispus, is a species of red algae used in the Caribbean to make a popular drink enjoyed by Jamaican men. Chondrus crispus algae is commonly used as an industrial thickener in milk products and gelatin; its presence in the Irish moss drink is responsible for the drink's thick consistency. Purchase some of the ingredients needed to make an Irish moss drink at specialty food stores or online retailers, as they are not available at standard grocery stores.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 qt. water
  • 1/2 lb. Irish moss
  • 2 oz. gum arabic
  • 4 oz. isinglass
  • 4 oz. linseed
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 lb. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. nutmeg
  • Strawberry syrup (optional)
  • Peanut butter (optional)
  • Ground cashews (optional)
  • Place the Irish moss in a colander and rinse with water to remove sand and debris.

  • Fill a large kettle with 4 quarts water and bring to a boil. Add the Irish moss, gum arabic, isinglass and linseed. Cook the ingredients until the ingredients dissolve around the Irish moss. This process takes approximately one hour.

  • Place a strainer over a large, heatproof container and pour the contents of the kettle into the strainer to separate the liquid from the Irish moss.

  • Add the sweetened condensed milk, sugar, vanilla extract and nutmeg to the strained liquid and mix well.

  • Cool the liquid in a refrigerator for a minimum of fours hours before serving. Dilute the liquid with water if the consistency is too thick for your taste.

  • Change the flavor of the drink by adding strawberry syrup, peanut butter or ground cashews.

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