Sherbet: Not just a Ramadan classic, but refreshing all year round

I guess we all have pretty complicated issues with keeping warm in cold weather and staying cool in hot weather. Yes, and our problem now is to cool down. There is an expression, roughly meaning “like jumping from hot sand into cool water” that is used to express the satisfaction of cooling off – and we all need to take a dip in the global heat these days. So today I want to talk about a cold drink that gives you the opportunity to use that expression – or shall we say, drinks.

I love making drinks, trying different recipes and creating new ones. In developed countries, similar food and beverage businesses – usually franchises – sometimes start to get boring.

So sherbet came to my mind when I was looking for a healthy and unique drink to consume in hot weather.

Today I want to share different recipes that are actually old but can be considered new as they have largely been forgotten.

But first, let’s talk about the sorbet itself. What is sherbet?

Selling sorbet on the street is a tradition that has survived in Turkey since the days of the Ottoman Empire.  (Shutterstock photo)
Selling sorbet on the street is a tradition that has survived in Turkey since the days of the Ottoman Empire. (Shutterstock photo)

Ramadan classic

Although sherbet is a drink commonly consumed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, there is always a reason to drink sherbet.

Sherbet is believed to have originated in Iran. The term itself means a drink made from sugar and water in Persian.

The word came into Italian as “sorbetto” and became “sorbet” in French.

Today this drink is still popular in Iran but was an iconic part of the culture of the Ottoman Empire.

Turks are a nation that saw its greatest glory during the Ottoman Empire, and thanks to their geography and deep-rooted history, they have a very rich culinary culture.

The fact that alcohol was not part of the Ottoman food culture due to the influence of Islam ensured the emergence of a rich sorbet and compote culture that held a special place in both palace and public cuisine.

During the Ottoman Empire, a special department for dessert makers was set up in the Imperial Palace and they were tasked with preparing many types of desserts such as halva, jam, paste, compote, sorbet – the difference between compote and sorbet is that compote is served with fruit grains .

There were plenty of peddlers selling fizzy drinks on the streets during the Empire – and you can still see them occasionally in Turkey today.

Aside from the palace and street venues, sherbet has had many places in the tradition.

Traditionally, something called Postpartum Sherbet was offered to a woman who had just given birth and those who visited her. Various sorbets were consumed at weddings, during Ramadan and at festivals.

Fruits, flowers, tree leaves and bark, plant roots, and spices were used to make sorbet. Their method of preparation varies between them.

Some of the syrups are used to relieve heat and ease digestion, and some are used as medicines against diseases.

As I write, I realize that this is a very long and detailed topic, so let’s end the story here and share some sorbet recipes, you can try them with different fruits or spices according to your taste.

Keep this piece in mind when drinking a healthy drink that keeps your flavor on your palate while refreshing you in hot weather.

The basic sorbet itself is made simply by squeezing the juice from fruit and adding sugar, or boiling fruit, flowers or herbs together with sugar, or brewing leaves or flowers with hot water, or diluting the syrup obtained by boiling the fruit with sugar a long time with water.

Licorice sorbet is known to boost the immune system with its antioxidant effects.  (Shutterstock photo)
Licorice sorbet is known to boost the immune system with its antioxidant effects. (Shutterstock photo)

Liquorice sorbet

10 grams of licorice root is cleaned and washed, cut into pieces 20 centimeters long and crushed with a hammer. It is kneaded like a dough by sprinkling some water on it, and this process is repeated several times as it absorbs its water.

Yeast is formed by adding a little more water to the roots, and liquorice syrup is made by adding a little water to the yeast.

So that the syrup does not become bitter, it is foamed by pouring it from container to container and then defoamed.

To serve, 10 grams of licorice root, cinnamon sticks and cloves are placed in a bowl with two liters of water and left in a cold environment for 8-10 hours. The cooled syrup is filtered and then served.

Licorice root sorbet strengthens the immune system through its antioxidant effect.

rose sorbet

After washing 1 tea glass of rose petals, it is placed in a large bowl and poured with 1 glass of boiling water. The container is tightly closed and left for a day. Then syrup – obtained by mixing and then boiling water and sugar – is added and cooled.

The rose syrup thus obtained is mixed with water and served.

Rose sorbet is an Ottoman sorbet that is made without cooking.

The tamarind fruit is said to have many health benefits.  (Shutterstock photo)
The tamarind fruit is said to have many health benefits. (Shutterstock photo)

Tamarind sorbet

500 grams of tamarind is kept in 8 glasses of water from evening to morning. It is then boiled and filtered. Sugar is added and cooled after mixing. It is served ice cold.

Reputed to have many health benefits, tamarind is a hard-skinned fruit also known as Indian dates.

Pomegranate sorbet

The pomegranates are sorted into a bowl and chopped thoroughly. Some water is added and then filtered and added to the filtered water and boiled.

It is then served chilled.

Pomegranate sorbet is known to balance blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Pomegranate sorbet is known to balance blood sugar levels and blood pressure.  (Shutterstock photo)
Pomegranate sorbet is known to balance blood sugar levels and blood pressure. (Shutterstock photo)

Reyhan Sorbet

A bunch of basil is washed and placed in a bowl. Then 6 glasses of hot water, 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar and the juice of half a lemon – or salt of 4 to 5 lemons – are added. Mix until the sugar dissolves and then cover. Served after cooling.

Reyhan Sherbet has a regulating effect on the metabolism.

Koruk sorbet

Koruk is the name for unripe grapes with a sour and tart taste. Although it has various uses, it is mainly consumed by extracting its water.

One kilogram of cornstarch granules are crushed in a mortar and filtered, and the water is removed by vigorous hand squeezing. The exiting water is filtered through a fine-mesh sieve. Waiting a while for the pulp to settle to the bottom and filtering again so the pulp portion stays at the bottom and separates. 2 cups of granulated sugar are boiled with 2 liters of water. Add the cork juice.

It is served cold. You can adjust the sugar ratio to your liking.

This sorbet helps remove harmful toxins that have accumulated in the body.

Koruk, or unripe grapes with a sour and tart taste, will help remove harmful toxins that have accumulated in the body.  (Shutterstock photo)
Sherbet is a drink commonly consumed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, although there's always a reason to drink sherbet.

Ramadan sorbet

1 glass of sour cherries, 1 glass of granulated sugar, 2 sticks of cinnamon and 2 to 3 cloves are boiled in 1 liter of water. After filtering, it is served cold.

Finally, among all these classic recipes, I want to share with you two recipes that I have created.

Red fruit sorbet

Boil 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 liter of water until the sugar has dissolved and cool. Grate the zest from 1 lemon, squeeze the juice and mix with a handful of mint leaves. Mash a handful of strawberries, raspberries and black currants with a mallet or pass through a blender. Then mix all the ingredients in a large bowl by adding another liter of water. Filter and serve with ice.

Ginger and cherry sorbet

Boil 200 grams of cherries with the zest of one chopped lemon, a piece of fresh ginger and 1.5 cups of granulated sugar in 2 liters of water for 20 minutes. Serve chilled with plenty of ice.

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