Iranian/Persian Sekahnjebin (Vinegar-Mint Summer Drink)

By • April 15, 2013 6 Comments

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Author Notes: Iranians are renowned for their hospitality. If you visit an Iranian house on a hot summer day, you will most likely be served a cold sugary drink (sharbat) of some variety (sour cherry, key lime, quince, etc). You might not think that you need a sharbat but after taking a few sips you will realize that it hit the spot and that is exactly what you needed coming in from the heat.

One such summer drink is sharbat Sekahnjebin (or serkeh-angabin, literally translated "vinegar syrup"). The prepared syrup in poured into a tall glass, topped with ice water and grated cucumbers, and garnished with fresh mint.

Sekhanjebin syrup is also used as a dip for young leaves of romaine lettuce for nibbling at backyard parties and picnics.

I like to cut my grapefruit in half, drizzle it with this syrup, and eat it with a grapefruit spoon.

Makes about two cups

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 large bouquet of fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup apple cider or white vinegar
  • a few sprigs of fresh mint for garnish
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated cucumbers for each drink
  1. Put the sugar and water in a 2-quart steel pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the sugar melts, add the vinegar and let it boil for 5-7 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Remove the pot from the stove and drop the mint bouquet in the hot syrup. Cover the pot and let the syrup cool completely. Remove and discard the mint and pour the syrup into a jar. The syrup will keep for a long time in the pantry.
  3. To make the drink, pour about 3-4 ounces of syrup in each glass and top with ice cubes and water. Add 2-3 tablespoons of grated cucumbers and garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.

More Great Recipes: Booze-Free Drinks|Cucumbers

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Comments (6) Questions (0)


over 2 years ago susan g

Waiting for the mint to come back! I would love to see more sharbat recipes to go through the seasons. And there could be a relationship with the American 'shrub' -- hardlikearmour's f52 recipes for shrubs have been excellent.


over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

There's a version of this in Diana Henry's Salt Sugar Smoke along with some fruit sharbats. I'm dying to make the quince sharbat next fall, and plan on making the rhubarb one soon. Your version of sekahnjebin with the added cucumber sounds incredibly refreshing. It's on my list for a hot summer drink!


over 2 years ago cookingProf

Thanks, hardlikearmour. I am not familiar with Diana Henry's book. I'd have to check it out. The quince sharbat is my favorite; it develops this beautiful rosé color if done right. Does her recipe use keylime juice along with the quince?


over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

She uses lemon juice. I love the sound of key lime, though! It's a gorgeous book, and I definitely urge you to page through it when you get a chance.


over 2 years ago creamtea

Looks so refreshing!


over 2 years ago Marisa R

oooh sounds tangy