Drinks are an important part of any wedding, be it the wedding reception drink, welcome drink upon arrival, or drink with the meal. In our country, wedding drinks are mostly non-alcoholic. One popular choice is the refreshing sherbet, a cool, sweet, aromatic drink made from concentrated fruit or fruit petals, traditionally mixed with cold water before serving, but may also be served concentrated for that added flavour. You could also use milk to dilute sherbet. It is commonly served in countries like India, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, the Middle East etc. and serving it in weddings, regardless of which programme, is a refreshing idea.
Sandalwood sherbet is an exotic drink which will rejuvenate your senses. You wouldn't be wrong to call it the king of drinks. Colourful and aromatic, this drink is sure to win over anyone willing to give it a try.
100g sandalwood, 500g sugar
¼ tsp saffron threads, 250ml water
1 tsp glucose syrup
Boil sandalwood in water for 15 minutes. Then add glucose syrup, saffron and sugar, mix and cook for 15 minutes more. Now strain and pour in a bottle to keep in the fridge. Pour 25ml concentrated sandalwood sherbet into one glass of chilled water, and shake well before drinking. Sandalwood sherbet can be taken at any time of the day or night.
ZAFRANI SHERBET (SAFFRON FLAVOURED DRINK)
10 saffron threads
A pinch of ground cardamom
10-12 almonds, blanched and slivered
10-12 pistachios, blanched and slivered
4 scoops saffron ice-cream
Place a saucepan over high heat, add the milk and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer, stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, scoop out 2 tablespoons of hot milk from the saucepan and place in a cup. Add saffron threads into the hot milk and set aside. Add sugar, and cardamom into the pan filled with saffron milk and simmer for another 5-6 minutes until thick and creamy. Remove from heat, add almonds and pistachios, and stir well. Let it cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator. Pour saffron milk into 4 glasses, top each with a scoop of ice-cream and serve immediately. If you do not have saffron ice cream, plain vanilla works too.
Gulkand sherbet is an Indian drink made with preserved rose petals, or jam and betel leaves. Gulkand has a unique feature and an enticing aroma. You can serve this refreshing drink on special occasions and festivals.
4 tbsp gulkand
10 betel leaves
2 tbsp honey
4 cups of milk, cold
¼ cup mixed nuts, almonds and pistachio, roughly pounded
½ cup ice cubes
Start by making a fine paste of the betel leaves with a little water using a mixer grinder, and take it out in a big bowl once churned completely. Now add the cold milk, gulkand, honey, almonds and pistachios, ice cubes and whisk slowly till the gulkand and honey dissolve well into the drink. Serve this refreshing gulkand sherbet to your wedding guests.
Jallab is a Syrian and Lebanese drink that combines the tastes of both sweet and sour together. It is made of date syrup, rose water, water and ice. Some people like to add pine nuts to it, while others like to keep it simple. Some also choose to replace the date syrup with grape syrup, but it all really depends on what appeals to you.
1l chilled water
5 tbsp date syrup, 2 tbsp rose syrup
1 tbsp blanched almonds halve
Mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Blend well. Pour in glasses, add ice cubes and serve chilled.
BADAM SHERBET (ALMOND SHERBET)
200g almonds, soaked overnight and peeled
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp almond essence
2 cups sugar
6 cups water
1 tsp kewra essence
A pinch of saffron
Add a little water to the almonds and blend to a fine paste. Mix almond paste, sugar, saffron and water in a pan. Cook for 1 hour on medium heat until it thickens. Cool and store sherbet in refrigerator
For serving, add 4 tablespoons of badam sherbet in a glass. Add one glass of water and mix well. Top it with ice cubes and serve. You can also mix the sherbet with milk.
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed