January 26, 2018

Sharbat Drink | Arabian Nights

(Originally posted February 2015 for Fiction Kitchen Podcast Episode 9.)
     In the Arabian Nights/Thousand and One Nights sharbat is described as flower water with ice or snow, plus sugar sprinkled on top. Alternately, it can be made by making a syrup with the flower water, and then pouring a little bit of that into a glass and adding water and ice. In the stories it is used as a medicinal drink as well as a drink in a normal capacity. Below I've concocted two ways; very simple based on what's mentioned in Arabian Nights (willow flavor) as well as a syrup method (rose flavored is also mentioned in the stories)–but feel free to experiment with different flavors!

Simple Sharbat

1/2 Cup Willow Blossom Water or Sweet Prier
1 Cup Snow or Shaved Ice or Several Ice Cubes
1 tsp. Baker's Sugar (fine granulated sugar)
1 Tbsp. Mint Water (optional)
2 tsp. Grenadine (optional, for color)

Combine the ingredients in a medium to small glass & enjoy! If you'd like to use a large glass, simply double the ingredients or use 1/2 cup flavored water + 1/2 cup plain water.

Sharbat Syrup

1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tbsp Flavor Water such as Rose or Orange Blossom (or 2 tsp. Rose + 2 tsp. Orange Blossom)
Sprinkling of Lemon Juice

Heat the sugar & water in a small pot over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat to low & stir in the flavored water & sprinkling of lemon juice. Simmer for about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat & pour into a clean jar. Allow to cool before securing the lid. Store in your pantry or cupboard.

To make sharbat, pour a little bit of the syrup into a glass (about 1-2 Tbsp. or more depending on glass size) & then pour in some water & plop in the ice. Serve with a long spoon to stir it all up. You can also simply add a little syrup to the simple sharbat recipe above.

*For more food inspired by the Arabian Nights try my Labneh Cheese and Sesame Halva!*

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