Sekanjabin, a Persian Refreshment

I posted before about Persian refreshments from the middle ages. Here, I wanted to show you my recreation of Sekanjabin.

Basically, Sekanjabin is a Persian beverage syrup made of vinegar and honey (or sugar) and is a concept more than a specific recipe. In the 10th Century a physician named Ibn Sina (or Avicenna) wrote a Canon of Medicine which listed the medicinal benefits of sekanjabin. When writing his encyclopedia in the 12th Century, royal physician Ismail Al-Jurjani described the types of “sharbat”, or syrups, popular in Persia. He speaks of their beneficial properties that ease indigestion and other “body imbalances”. These same types of syrups are presented again in the Manuscrito Anonimo, an Arabic Cookbook of 13th Century Andalusia. The name sekanjabin is an Arabic transcription of the Persian term, “sirka anjubin”, literally meaning “honeyed vinegar” (Rodinson, 1998). The beverage, sharbat-e sekanjabin, was used medicinally from ancient times through the middle ages and is still imbibed for pleasure today.


 Sekanjabin Redaction (I made this for an Arts & Sciences Competition in 2012)

Simple Sekanjabin (Sugar, Vinegar) – “Take a ratl of strong vinegar and mix it with two ratls of sugar, and cook all this until it takes the form of a syrup. Drink an ûqiya of this with three of hot water when fasting: it is beneficial for fevers of jaundice, and calms jaundice and cuts the thirst, since sikanjabîn syrup is beneficial in phlegmatic fevers: make it with six ûqiyas of sour vinegar for a ratl of honey and it is admirable.”

Giata’s Sekanjabin Redaction – I placed 4 cups cane sugar in ½  cup of boiling spring water and 1 ½  cups of imported Italian red wine vinegar in a pot. I simmered and stirred until it was the consistency of thin syrup, then removed from fire and let cool. I diluted the resulting syrup to taste with ice water (8 parts water to 1 part syrup).


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