Summer calls for sweet chilled drinks. All cultures and countries have their own style of making these. In Iran, summer cooler potions are called Sharbat (Shirbit). They are sweet or slight sour fruit juices boiled slowly in a simple syrup to concentrate the flavor. They are kept at close hand to be served on those hot summer days when one dreams of jumping into a cold pool. They are thinned down with cold water and served in pretty long glasses with ice and a tall spoons for occasional stirring.
Sharbat-e Sekanjebin is one the most favorite one. So simple to make and yet so fragrant and delicious. My husband and nieces love it and I am always asked to make more. It can be served as a drink, mixed with water and ice. Or, it can be had as a great afternoon snack served straight up in a small bowl with a side of crispy romaine hearts. Like dipping bread in olive oil, romaine leaves are dipped in Sekanjebin and enjoyed. It is so, so good. I still remember as a child waiting for the early afternoon and time for this wonderful snack called in Farsi “Kahoo va Sekanjebin” (lettce and Sekanjebin).
So little ingredients + So little effort = So great a flavor
Yield: about 1.5 Quarts
- Sugar ……………………………….. 6 Cups
- Cold Water ……………………….. 6 Cups
- Fresh Mint ……………………….. 1 Bunch
- White/Apple Cider Vinegar …. 2-3 Tbsp
- Wash mint well and let it dry. Leave them on the stem.
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally, until all sugar is dissolved.
- Lower heat to medium low, tie up mint stems with a kitchen twine and drop into the pan.
- With lid off, simmer slowly until the syrup thickens and is reduced in half.
- Add vinegar and stir.
- Wait a few minutes, turn off the heat, remove the mint and let liquid cool.
- Transfer to a glass jar, cover and keep in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, fill a tall glass 1/4 way (or less depending on your taste) with Sekanjebin, add some ice and fill the glass almost all the way up with cold water, Stir and enjoy.
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