Tamarind syrup drink

A 13th-century Andalusian recipe requiring fresh tamarind soaked in water and sugar, which are cooked down to a syrup. It is drunk watered down and can be further enhanced with lashings of ice for a great beverage. It is another recipe that is primarily — but by no means exclusively — medicinal in that it was said to be useful against jaundice and thirst, as well as arousing appetite and removing the bitterness of food in the mouth.

Andalusian violet drink

This refreshing beverage from 13th-century Muslim Spain is made with fresh violet flowers that are boiled to extract their essence. After straining, sugar is added and this is cooked down to a syrup. Water it down with half the amount of hot water and it is ready to drink. Althrough primarily a medicine against fever and coughs, it has a wonderfully delicate taste which makes it a perfect summer drink as welll.

Refreshing oxymel drink

Whilst the English word combines the Greek for ‘vinegar’ and ‘honey’, the Arabic sakanjabin (سَكَنْجَبِين, also sikanjabin or sikanjubin) has its roots in Persian words for those two substances (sik, ‘vinegar; anjabin, ‘honey’). The drink, which was also made with sugar, was used in medicine as a sweetener to improve the taste of medicines. However, it was also enjoyed by itself. The re-created recipe is taken from a 13th-century treatise. It is very easy to make and requires only date vinegar and rose-water syrup. [Kanz al-fawā’id, 1993, p. 136, No. 363] Serve with crushed ice to complement the delicate sweet-and-sour taste and, why not, add some borage petals for colourful effect — an ideal beverage (and mixer) for a balmy summer afternoon!