Before there was sugary and processed soda (can you even remember that time?!) there was sharbat in Iran. Sharbat is a homemade beverage that has 3 main components: acid, sweetener, and flavor. For the acid, citrus juice or vinegar is used to bring forward the tartness element; typically honey, sugar, or grape molasses is used for the sweetener. As in all of Persian cuisine, flavor choices are endless, ranging from fresh herbs to
This drink is so delightfully exotic and unique that I believe it will win the heart of anyone who appreciates a creative, tart and refreshing drink. In addition to having a tempting flavor, this sharbat has a playful texture of plumped up basil seeds. The infusion of rose water and lime juice takes this beverage to a whole different level of yumminess!
I encourage you to venture out to visit a local Persian market, where basil seeds are available. You can also substitute chia seeds for the basil seeds, though I personally prefer the basil seed texture.
- 1 heaping tablespoon basil seeds
- 16 ounces water
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 fresh limes, juiced
- 3 tablespoons rose water
- 2 fresh mint leaves, for garnishing
- Bring 8 oz of water to a near boil and dissolve the sugar.
- Add the remaining 8 oz of cool water, and the basil seeds.
- Stir and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Pour in the fresh lime juice and rose water and stir.
- Garnish with a slice of fresh lime and a mint leaf and serve.