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 Egyptian treatise. It is very easy to make and requires only date vinegar and rose-water syrup. 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!

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