Summers are right here, the temperature begins to hit scorching high leaving all of us exhausted, sweat and weak. Staying hydrated is essential to keep you going in this hot climate and maintain optimal well-being. The body tends to lose a lot of water due to excessive sweating. To shield you from the aftermath of dehydration, it is vital to drink plenty of fluids and eat a good lot of hydrating foods. Well, we all seek comfort from the hot climate by relishing the chilling and energising drinks made at our home. There are a myriad of natural beverages that offer great relief during the summer season.
Especially with the coronavirus cases rising at an alarming rate now across the country, natural fruits and drinks are highly recommended by a healthcare professional to build a robust immune system and keep infections at bay. One of the most refreshing summer elixir drinks is sharbat, which is made in various avatars and it is an age-old cooling remedy that helps you combat heatstroke and quenches thirst.
Let’s welcome summer with the refreshing and heavenly sharbat that delivers a host of healing health benefits, than going for those carbonated sodas.
History Of Sharbat
Sharbat is also called shorbot, serbet or sherbet, a famous refreshing drink in Iran, Turkey, South Asia, Caucasus, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Balkan and India. The term sharbat is originated from the Persian word meaning a drink of sugar and water. This, in turn, came from the Arabic word shariba meaning to drink, by the late Middle Ages, the Arabic word sharab meant alcoholic beverage and the alternate form sharbat and serbet took on the meaning of a sweet non-alcoholic drink. In India, sharbat was introduced by the Mughals in the 16th century, which was popularised by Babur in the Indian subcontinent who had sent for frequent loads of ice from the Himalayas to make this chilling beverage.
Sharbat is a pleasantly sweet drink made from the extracts of fruits or flower petals. It is served chilled in concentrated form or semi-liquid or diluted with water to make a chilling drink. Some of the most popular varieties of sherbets are made of basil seeds, rose water, fresh rose petals, sandalwood, bael, hibiscus, lemon, orange, mango, pineapple, flasa and chia seeds.
Each state in India has its unique speciality and tradition of making sherbet in several forms. In the South Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh sarbbath is made using syrup of nanari root and lemon that confers you with indispensable health benefits. While it is a customary practice for Muslims across the world to break their daily fast during the month of Ramadan by consuming this popular drink.
Sharbat was traditionally made with sugarcane juice, but nowadays it is made using sugar and water, flavoured with lemon and other spices to add extra zest. Honey is also used as a source of natural sweetener. Sharbat comes in a spectrum of flavours including lemon, pomegranate, strawberry, cherry, orange, rose, orange blossom, tamarind, mulberry to mention a few.
Types Of Sharbat
Tamarind And Plum Sharbat
This is a quite popular non-alcoholic drink in Muslim countries, prepared during the holy month of Ramadan. In Turkey, tamarind sherbet is called demirhindi serbeti, which is flavoured with cloves, cardamom, fresh ginger, cinnamon, honey, sage, dried linden flowers and plum.
Bael ka sharbat
Bael or wood apple sharbat is one of the most popular beverages in India and highly prized for its impressive nutritional profile and medicinal benefits. It is mildly tangy in taste and natural summer cooler that helps combat harmful pathogens and enhances overall well-being. Bael ka sharbat is flavoured with salt, pepper, mint, sugar and lemon juice.
Another sharbat variation from India is made using sandalwood powder, milk and sugar. Phalsa berries are also used to make tangy varieties of South Asian sherbet. While most sour sherbet types make use of citrus fruits, tamarind, amla etc. In India, nimbu pani or lemonade is made using fresh lemon juice with add on flavours like ginger, mint, kewra, saffron, pink salt or black pepper.
Vetiver / Khus Sherbet
This sherbet is made by adding khus essence, sugar and water. Khus concoction is extracted from the roots of vetiver grass, which is also used as a flavouring agent for milkshakes, lassi, yoghurt, ice-creams and other dessert toppings.
The most preferred and common sharbat flavour is rose that is also used as a topping for pudding and other desserts. This sharbat is extensively made in Turkey that involves pressing fresh rose petals with citric acid or sugar to release their essence and fragrance. This petal mixture is called gul mayasi and can be added to sharbat base of sugar and water to make a rose sharbat topping and also used to flavour desserts like muhallebi, cookies and cakes.
Rooh Afza is a very famous sharbat that serves as an energising summer coolant. It is a sugary concoction made using herbs and tonic. The traditional system of medicine recommends Rooh Afza for treating heatstroke and dehydration, while these days herbal extracts got improvised and it is now available in the form of chilling sherbet. Roof Afza is mostly enjoyed by mixing it with cold milk or water. This sherbet is an important beverage for the Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.
Is Sharbat Good For Health?
A chilled glass of sharbat in sweltering summers can provide you with much-needed relief and a ton of health benefits. Sharbat is valued as the most favourable energy drink that helps you maintain electrolyte balance, stay hydrated and cool. Traditional Indian sharbats are made using a rich array of herbs and spices that adds to their nutrient profile and medicinal benefits. Some of the flavours of sharbat made commonly in India includes khus sharbat, Gulab sharbat, bel sharbat, Brahmi sharbat and mango Panna, these natural beverages are well-known for their healthful nutrients. In the summer months, sharbats are the essential refreshment drink that offer you nourishment as well as boost stamina.
Let’s read through this article to know about two healthy sharbat recipes and how it helps you stay hydrated during this summer.
Khus sharbat is a green-coloured portion made using khus extract, sugar, water and citric acid syrup. The green tinge of the sharbat comes from khus essence that is a thick extract made from the roots of khus grass (vetiver grass).
Vetiver is an aromatic bunch of grass that is native to India, goes with the scientific name Chrysopogon. It is an ultimate summer cooler that assists you in combatting heat stroke. This natural summer drink not only quenches thirst but also offers you umpteen health incentives. The extracts of vetiver root are valued as a coolant, digestive aid and triggers the immune system. Vetiver extracts and oil are used extensively in traditional Ayurveda medicines for purifying the blood, strengthening the excretory system, preventing bloating, and constipation, dehydration, maintaining fluid balance, treating haemorrhage and reducing the burning sensation.
Health Benefits of Khus Sharbat
Improves Blood Circulation
Being intrinsically rich in iron, manganese and vitamin B6, khus sharbat promotes blood flow in the system. While the goodness of manganese helps to dilate the blood vessels and control diastolic blood pressure.
Lessens Redness In Eyes
The natural cooling properties of khus sharbat works as a good diuretic. Loaded with zinc, it helps to treat several eye issues and maintain eye health. Consuming khus sharbat on daily basis is an ideal way to lessen redness in the eyes caused by intense summer.
Khus is a powerhouse of antioxidants that are known to combat tissues from free radical damage and boost the immune system. Drink up this great beverage to trigger the metabolism, improve stamina, keep infections at bay and uplift overall health.
Stimulates Digestive Health
Drinking khus water helps in cleansing the intestinal tract, regularise bowel movements and treats constipation and bloating. While the natural cooling and alkaline properties of this root help to keep the body cool in summer.
Soothes Nervous System
Loaded with copper, iodine, calcium and magnesium, khus helps in calming and relaxing the mind, maintaining nervous system function and promoting a sound sleep
Khus Sharbat Recipe
3 cups water
4 cups sugar
60 grams khus roots
Wash the root well to remove dirt and impurities, chop into fine pieces and soak in water overnight
Strain the khus extract through a juice strainer.
Heat the pan add the extract and sugar, stir well until the sugar dissolves and becomes a sticky syrup.
Filter the hot syrup and store it in a clean glass jar.
Let it cool and then refrigerate the khus syrup.
Make a glass of refreshing khus sharbat by adding one-fourth portion of syrup with chilled water, khus sharbat is ready to be served.
Calming and refreshing rose or Gulab sharbat is made using vibrant rose petals, it is one of the best drinks to quench your thirst. Rose petals are bestowed with cooling and restoring effect and confers you with a magnitude of health incentives. It has long been a staple drink in Indian households, during the summer months. Potent analgesic, a bronchodilator, anti-convulsive, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory traits of rose petals are beneficial to manage diabetes, GERD, digestive problems and common cold and cough.
Rose syrup captures the spirit of summer and can be used in a spectrum of ways - lassi, thandai, rose sharbat, gulkand shake, rose milkshake, rose Sandesh and as a topping for ice-creams and kulfi.
Health Benefits of Rose Sharbat
Packed With Antioxidants
Rose petal laden with strong antioxidants helps to combat detrimental toxins from oxidising healthy skin cells and promotes the regeneration of new skin cells. While it also shields the skin against UV rays, slows down signs of ageing and fades away wrinkles and pigmentation. In addition, the anti-fungal and antibacterial characteristic of rose petals offers protection against skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis and ringworm.
Strong antidepressant and anti-anxiety traits of rose petals have been known to calm the central nervous system and reduce stress and relax the mind. While it also induces sound sleep and helps in reducing headache, tension and irritation.
The goodness of fibre in rose help to stimulate the digestion process, regularise bowel movement, reduce digestive upset, bloating and treats other gastrointestinal woes. The laxative and anti-inflammatory properties of rose petals combat digestive problems and prevent gut discomfort.
Rose petals have the power to boost brain health. The wealth of vitamins such as A, C, E, B and antioxidants lowers the risk of cognitive dysfunction and diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s and uplifts memory power and concentration. Apart from this, packed with B complex vitamins it also helps in reducing nerve damage.
Rose Sharbat Recipe
1 cup rose petals of red rose
3 cups water
4 cups sugar
Wash and clean the rose petals well.
In a pan add the rose petals and water, cover the lid and allow it to soak overnight.
The next day add sugar to the rose petal mixture, place it on the stove and stir over low heat till sugar dissolves.
Once the sugar is dissolved, boil the mixture well, until it thickened to one thread consistency.
Strain the syrup using a clean muslin cloth .allow it to cool at room temperature and store in an airtight glass bottle and refrigerate.
To make rose sharbat add a quarter portion of rose syrup to a glass of chilled milk or water and rose sharbat is ready to be served.Relish this cooling summer drink and beat the heat.