Thursday, July 27, 2006

Oases: Sharbat-e Golab (2 of 2)

Sharbat-e golab may have saved my mother's sanity. A simple mix of merely three ingredients, sugar, water, and rosewater, has always had a magical effect on her baby daughter. It was an elixir that would literally change my mood in the face of any hardship, whether it was slamming my finger in the front door, or being kicked out of my big sister's room for the twentieth time in a day. Being the baby of the family, I was prone to some pretty good tantrums, but my mom knew that all she needed to do was whip up a glass of miraculous sharbat-e golab to quell my histrionics and restore her shaken nerves. Even physical pain would magically wash away as soon as the first sweet perfumy sip passed my lips.

It wasn't only for times of trauma, though. It was a delicious treat on any hot day. Sometimes Violet would even concoct some in the water bottle she sent me to school with, so that at lunch I'd have a sweet surprise waiting for me.

Honestly, I haven't tried using sharbat-e golab as an antidepressant in recent years (perhaps I tend more towards dark chocolate these days?). But the deliciousness has persisted. I probably like it a bit less sugary than 5-year-old me did, but I still have a near-visceral love for this cool refreshment.

Friends I've shared it with fit into 2 categories: those that love it, and those that can't get past the thought that they're drinking perfume. The latter camp tend to have violent reactions towards it -- there seems to be no in between. I say try it though. It's the easiest thing in the world to make, and it's SO icy and refreshing on these red-hot days. Golab, rosewater, is easy to come by in any Middle Eastern or Indian market, and a small bottle goes a long way.

Sharbat-e Golab

(of course, you can modify these proportions to taste...)
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbs rosewater
1 C water and ice

In a glass, dissolve the sugar in the rosewater. Make sure it's completely dissolved before adding any ice, and if you're having trouble, add a little water. Once dissolved, fill the glass with water and ice, and stir one last time.

Serves 1


  1. Yum Oh Yum! This is so good on a hot day. I should start using it to pacify my little monkeys. Somewhere down the line I'm sure they'll realize that this mixture somehow has anesthetic qualities. I distinctly remember having a toenail ripped off underneath a door and instead of taking me to the ER, Violet made me this stuff and I was all better somehow. However, I never got it in my lunch box. She really does love you more!

  2. Also, lipstick was her other magic anesthetic. The cure for fingers slammed in car doors and all kinds of other ailments. And if I did kick you out of my room, I'm sure there was a good reason!

  3. Years and years ago you made this for me when I was visiting the palacial Sassooni estate... and I still talk it up today. The most unexpected but refreshing flavors ever!

  4. tsp -- i think the ripped toenail was actually me, not you. and yes, of course she loves me more. duh. also this lipstick idea is genius!

    annie -- i don't remember this at all! how great! well now you can enjoy the great taste at home. sooo easy.