Tuesday, July 2, 2013
"What is sekanjabin?" I found myself asking. I'd seen the unfamiliar word on the cafe's menu for nearly a year and never thought to ask.
Turns out, I should have asked that question a long time ago.
Sekanjabin is a Persian drink (or syrup), flavoured with mint and cucumber. Sweet, with just a hint of sour, the cooling taste of cucumber and the bright flavour of fresh mint leaves, it's utterly refreshing. After that first sip, I knew this was something I had to try making at home.
Traditionally, it's a sweet and sour syrup made with vinegar and sugar, but I opted to make mine on the sweeter side and use lemon for that kick of sourness. Not very traditional, but totally delicious.
It also seemed like the perfect thing to bring along to a summer picnic, so when my fantabulous friend Anna and I began planning our second outing for the Toronto Picnickers, I knew I had to bring some along.
So on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I found myself strolling down to Dufferin Grove Park, a canteen filled with freshly-made sekanjabin at my side. Plastic cups were passed around, food was shared, and a general good time was had by everybody, and now I can proudly say that there are a few more people in the world who know what sekanjabin is, and how deliciously wonderful it is.
You can read all about our delightful adventure in Dufferin Grove here at Swallow - it promises food and recipes! You should especially check out Anna's amazing strawberry cookie snack bars (of which I ate at least four) and whole wheat strawberry scones. Interested in joining us for our next picnic? Shoot me an email at email@example.com - the more the merrier!
In the mean time, go make yourself a glass of sekanjabin, kick up your feet, and cool down.
Sweet, minty, and utterly refreshing, this riff on the sweet & sour Persian drink is the tastiest solution I know to summer heat.
1/2 cup mint simple syrup (see recipe below)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 cups water
1/4 cup shredded cucumber
1. Whisk the syrup, lemon juice, and water together in a large pitcher. Add cucumber and ice. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Mint Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
handful fresh mint leaves (1/4 - 1/3 cup, loosely packed)
1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan, then bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
2. Once you've brought the mixture to a boil, turn the heat to low and add the mint leaves. Simmer the mixture for several minutes, then remove from the heat and let it sit for 20 - 30 minutes to let the flavour infuse.
3. When the syrup has been infused, strain out the mint leaves and transfer the syrup to an airtight glass jar. Let cool completely before using. Keep refrigerated; the syrup will keep well in the fridge for at least a month, so you can drink sekanjabin whenever the mood strikes you!