The summer has definitely arrived here in Doha with temperatures hitting the high 40s and even 50 last week!! So a great alternative to cooling yourself down in the summer heat, apart from blasting your air conditioning on full blast, which I detest, is by making a sharbat!
Sharbat is an aromatic syrup which is diluted with water and ice, very similar to cordial, and made either from fruits, herbs, vegetables or flowers. This age old Persian answer to the sweltering hot summer months, cools you down from the inside out! It also is known to help improve hydration and is a good source of antioxidants. You can have it plain with water and ice or to get the antioxidant effect, add in some chia seeds. The traditional seeds which are used in sharbat are basil seeds, which are very similar to chia seeds so I decided to use what I had on hand.
Ingredients (serves 10)
1 cup coconut sugar or any sweetener of your choice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rose petals (you can also use rose water instead)
splash of rose water
Optional: chia seeds (about 2 teaspoons per glass)
Bring the water to a boil in a pot.
Then add the coconut sugar, stirring constantly, until it dissolves.
Reduce the heat and add the rose petals and rose water and let simmer for a couple of minutes.
Remove from heat and let the syrup cool down completely. I put mine in the fridge to speed up the process.
Once the syrup has cooled down, pour about 1/3 of a cup of syrup per glass, then add cold water, ice cubes, squeeze of fresh lime and 2 teaspoons of chia seeds.
OR you can make a big jug of this to share, and add in some cucumber slices or watermelon.
Stir it all up and enjoy this refreshing aromatic summer drink!
NB: you can save any left over syrup in a bottle in the fridge for up to a week.