It is so hot in the desert right now, we are daily chilling with rejuvenating drinks that momentarily make us forget all about the challenges of living in Emirates under a scorching sun. Just that we are still on a topic of cool beverages for summer and Ramadan, another drink that is overtly popular in my house after Gol Paani is Rose Water Lemonade. It doesn’t only quench thirst, but also look super exuberant. What I have noticed is, that the foods that I condemned as a child are becoming my new all-time favorites – cauliflower, peas, chickpeas, green leaves, etc. Call it the hormonal changes, maturity or those particular ingredients that have a sort of home sickness attached. Those that I don’t want Little A to miss on. Those foods that remind me of home. Those that take me back to childhood. And those that want to make my house, a home.
Roohafza is one such. I disliked the syrup because it is sweet, sticky and has a very strong rose flavor that would hurt in my throat if not done right. On many occasions that I have visited our distant relatives, a summer cooler with a spoon of faint rose syrup beaten in would mostly be an easiest option and I would timidly move the drink towards my sister not letting the host know of my apprehensions. Because mom always said it is rude to decline when someone offers you food.
To let you know more on the history of this classic beloved “sherbat” , it dates back to early 1900’s when Roohafza was created as an herbal medicine. To keep cool during the summer season as blend of herbs in it help people in dealing with perspiring heat. It later went on to become a prized treasure in Indian and Pakistani households, as much as no Iftar gathering would be complete without it. And became a “shagun” in many Bohra weddings I have seen, including mine.
Now when I have a bottle of Roohafza at home, I am beginning to love it and play around with different flavors. Apart from traditionally whipping up rose milkshakes and juices added with basil seeds, it pairs excellently and taste delicious as a topping for ice-creams and faloodas. If that doesn’t entice you, a homemade rose ice-cream will make you weak in the knees (stay tuned for the recipe here)!! Moreover, instead of conventionally stirring the dark pink syrup with water and ice, I love to squeeze a lemon and add some rose petals to up the notch of my beverage game for Iftar parties. It is very straightforward to put together and looks rich. Sipped at leisurely pace, it can strike beautiful conversations and wouldn’t let you miss hot brews for that perfect pick-me-up.
A glass of bright pink juice is all that you may need to put the color back on your cheeks after a day-long fast or a stretched day under a sun!
Rose Water or Roohafza Lemonade
- Roohafza – 2 tbsp
- Water – 3 cups
- Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
- Rose petals, optional
- Ice cubes
In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients together (except ice) and give a good stir until the syrup is all dissolved. In serving glasses, add the ice cubes and pour the lemonade. Serve chilled.
Tip – You can also add club soda to make it a fizzy drink.