sharbat-e sekanjabin (persian sweet and sour mint and cucumber drink) recipe

awesome but a little melancholy ::::

A few months ago, M&M, Grub’s godparents, moved away to Southern California start new jobs. We were sad to see them go, seeing as they enjoyed the kids’ company, were a couple with whom we could have intelligent conservations, and provided Eat with social time at their former workplace. It was only a matter of time before we wanted to try to meet up with them again, as travel permitted.


We tried a meet-up around Christmastime, which fell through with family obligations, socializing, trips to the airport, what have you. We made a quick trip through Southern Cal again months later with more time on the plane and in the car than provided us with a time to meet up with friends. Albeit that time around, we did not make our announcement of being in the vicinity, but it was remarked upon after a Facebook post at the local aquarium showed up with a photo of Grub and Eat, Peach sound asleep at home with me at the time.

It is unfortunate that we did not have time to meet up with our old friends, and that we have not had more time to spend in Southern Cal since their departure. But, as life normally is, we have been in a whirlwind of balancing work, the kids’ social and school schedules, and trying to make a little time for ourselves (which, honestly, tends to be last on the list). At the end of the day, Eat and I just want to sit and do nothing most of the time. I remember our childless days, when we thought were were so busy, ha! Busy takes on a whole new meaning in a family with children. I’m certainly not minimizing a couple’s busy work and social calendar, but really, it’s way different. When a parent hasn’t had an uninterrupted night’s sleep in a few years, a quiet afternoon of a sleeping Peach and a Grub-Daddy fish afternoon is absolute bliss.

For our friends M&M, and for our few and far between moments of quietude, today’s drink post for the Persian sharbat-e sekanjabin  (a sweet and sour mint and cucumber drink) is apropos. Today’s post isn’t a recent concoction. I’ve hung on to this one for awhile, waiting for the right moment. Ancient history recounts that it is something to help ease indigestion or restore body imbalances. It is sweet from the sugar and sour from the vinegar: a perfect representation of how friendships sometimes feel. There are ups and downs; sometimes the relationship feels imbalanced and there are disappointments. Time to restore.

One year ago:  coconut cake with mango curd filling

Two years ago:  leek and zucchini soup

sharbat-e sekanjabin recipe (persian sweet and sour mint and cucumber drink)
Recipe type: drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 7 cups water (possibly more, depending on your desired sweetness)
  • ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh mint, loosely packed
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, grated
  1. Mix 1 cup of water and 2 cups of sugar in a small saucepan. Dissolve over low heat, then boil for 10 minutes.
  2. After boil, add vinegar to saucepan. Turn heat down to simmer and cook to thick for 20 minutes. Check consistency of the liquid during cooking time. When it starts to look thicker than water, then it's done. If you cook it to maple syrup thickness in the pan, it will end up being more thick as it cools, and harder to dilute with water.
  3. Take pan off heat, stir in the mint, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. When cool, remove mint. Mix syrup with 6 cups of water. Taste and see if you need to add more water. Some people like this drink very sweet; others prefer less so and with a splash of seltzer water for fizz. Chill the mixture before serving.
  5. Add ice and grated cucumbers to each glass, pour diluted syrup into each.
  6. Alternative for the syrup, undiluted: serve syrup as an appetizer with fresh, crisp lettuce leaves for dipping.
  7. You can also make a version with honey, replacing the sugar with about half as much honey.



  • Jodi Khonsarizadeh October 2, 2013 Reply

    Thankyou!! Thankyou! I’m so happy to see this recipe, I usually have to wait for my mother in law to come visit from Iran in the summer, so she can make it for us. I’m going to make some right now, seriously right now. The best part is now I wont have to stockpile it in my fridge lol.

    • story October 3, 2013 Reply

      Thanks for the feedback! It’s such a great drink. It totally reminds me of summertime.

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