Sekanjabin is an ancient Persian syrup that is not well known in the US, but it definitely should be! When made into a drink, it is like lemonade – sweet, sour, and refreshing. But instead of lemon juice, it uses vinegar for the tartness. The word sekanjabin comes from Persian words that literally translate to honeyed vinegar.
The most common flavor is mint, but my favorites are raspberry or strawberry-ginger.
It’s super easy to make, and all of the amounts listed can be adjusted to your taste.
2 cups sugar (or 1 ½ cups honey)
2 cups water
½ cup white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
Flavoring – a handful of fresh mint or 1 cup of crushed fruit
· Combine sugar and water in a saucepan.
· Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
· Add vinegar and flavorings (mint, crushed fruit, ginger, etc.) and return to a boil.
· Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture thickens just a bit, 20-30 minutes.
· Let cool in the pan.
· Strain out mint/fruit and store the syrup in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.
Mix 2 to 4 tablespoons of the syrup into 1 cup of water or club soda. Serve over ice.
If you like, you can even add a little rose water or thinly sliced cucumber into the glass to add a little something extra. This drink is called sharbat-e sekanjabin.
As a dip:
Another traditional way to use the syrup is to dip crunchy lettuce like romaine leaves into it. When I do this, I like to refrigerate the syrup so that it’s nice and cold before dipping.