As summer days get hotter, nothing satisfies thirst like a cold drink. Middle easterners master living in the heat and know how to cool off using simple ingredients to make colorful, delicious healthy drinks.
Even though the most common beverages in the Middle East are coffee and tea, they are meant to be drunk hot, never cold; most drinks require simple ingredients that could be easily made at home or bought over the shelf.
1- Minty Lemonade
This is a popular drink around the middle eastern countries, served at home cafes, and in restaurants. This minty lemonade is made from fresh lemon juice cooked down with sugar into a thick syrup to preserve the lemon juice. Then mixed with water and blended in a blender with fresh mint! Either served over ice or blended with ice into a slushy texture!
Jallab is a trendy drink made at home or bought in a bottled concentrate; just add water and serve over ice, usually topped with toasted pine nuts. This summer drink tastes sweet and sour. Jallab is made from the date and grape molasses with a touch of rose water. It’s a good source of minerals like potassium and sodium.
3- Qamar Al- Deen
This drink is unique and widespread across the middle east, especially during Ramadan. Qamar al deen is made from dried apricot fruit leather cut into small pieces, soaked with warm water, frequently stirring until dissolved. Some sugar is added and served cold over ice.
4- Sharab Al-Ward
Simple syrup is made from sugar water and lemon, colored with pink food coloring, flavored with rose water, and diluted with tap or sparkling water. Served over ice, with a few leaves of fresh mint. Sharab Al-Ward is a famous drink in Lebanon; so fragrant and refreshing!
Some still make this drink the old-fashioned way by bringing the rose petals with water, sugar, and lemon for hours, until the water changed color to reddish, and the mix became a thick syrup; rose water could be added to enhance the flavor, then strained. Mix half the syrup with fresh water to serve and pour over ice to enjoy!
5- sharab irk also
This drink is popular in Egypt; street vendors serve this cold licorice juice! It’s mildly sweet with a bit of bitterness. The glass is extracted from the roots of a licorice plant called glycyrrhiza glabra. The roots get ground into a powder, then put into a cheesecloth mixed with a spoonful of sugar and a touch of baking soda, then covered with water until all the roots change color and get absorbed into the water! Served cold over ice.
6- Tamr Hindi
This is an energizing summer drink with a sweet and sour flavor. The tangy flavor comes from the crushed tamarind paste soaked with hot water until dissolved and blended with cold water, sugar, and lemon juice. I have to say this drink is an acquired taste; give yourself some time to fall in love with its health benefits.
7- Laben Shanna
Simply cold buttermilk from sheep is a widespread drink throughout the middle east. So refreshing. Traditionally it was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream. In the old days, I used to go to Laban ( a person who sells milk and dairy products ) and ask him to fill up a chug. Now you can find this drink cold in the refrigerator section all over supermarkets!
8- Rumman juice
Rumman, the Arabic word for pomegranate, is a refreshing drink rich in health benefits. It’s simply cutting the pomegranate in half and then pressing it, and the juice gets extracted! Simple and delicious! `
A delicious drink made from dried hibiscus flowers that is steep with cold water; some add sugar or honey to sweeten others as is. Karlade tastes like cranberry juice and tastes tangy and fruity! This drink is popular in Egypt and Sudan.
10- Asser Kasab Al Suker
Sugar cane juice is purely sugar cane that is extracted and juiced. The juices were so refreshing and sweet! You will find it at food vendors, where they press it on the spot! This popular drink is available widely in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
Hi, I’m Rana and I blog at ranasrecipe.com. My passion for food began very early in my life. And after managing a cafe, a granola business and helping other food businesses scale up, I found my true calling in creating wonderful recipes so that everyone can enjoy cooking as much as I do! Don’t forget to follow me on my social channels- instagram and pinterest.