Persian Mint & Cucumber Cooler (Sekanjabin) for #SundaySupper

Sekanjabin is a sweet and sour mint syrup that can be a dip for crisp lettuce or can be mixed with water and cucumbers to make a great drink.

Persian Mint & Cucumber Cooler (Sekanjabin) by

Labor Day weekend, in the U.S., marks the end of summer. Of course, the fall equinox doesn’t hit until mid-September and the weather here in San Diego is screaming HOT! Summers in Iran can also be long and hot. I’ve already shared with you several favorite ways to cool off Persian-style, from yogurt with cucumbers (mast-o khiar) to ice cream with saffron and rose water. Today I am going to share with you another traditional recipe, this time a Mint and Cucumber Cooler (sekanjabin).

Back in Iran, a pitcher of sekanjabin was served at family picnics, especially during those long, hot months. When I attended the University of Arizona, my uncle would make me sekanjabin to help us chillax while we sat in the shade, hiding from the desert heat.

The syrup is simple: sugar, mint and water. But it’s the vinegar that makes this into a delicious sweet and sour concoction.

The mint syrup can be served two ways. The first is as a dipping sauce for fresh, crisp lettuce leaves. There’s something quite novel watching grown adults lick their fingers while dipping their crispy greens into this very sticky syrup. Heads of lettuce are consumed by the bunches as everyone dips on leaf after another.

Persian Mint & Cucumber Cooler (Sekanjabin) by

I prefer my sekanjabin as a drink: diluted in water, served over a glass filled with ice and grated cucumber. You can control the amount of sweetness, adding more or less water as desired. Some prefer more tang and add a bit more vinegar or lemon juice.

This may not be a traditional American Labor Day beverage, but it certainly will cool you off from that last heat wave summer has for you!

Sekanjabin (Persian Mint & Cucumber Cooler)

This sweet and sour mint syrup can be diluted with water to make a wonderful cooler to drink in the summer. The syrup alone is also traditionally served with crisp lettuce leaves for dipping. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice


  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup mint, fresh, loosely packed
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, grated


  1. In a small pot over medium-high heat whisk together until dissolved:
    • 2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup water
  2. Let syrup boil together for 10 minutes, then add:
    • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  3. Reduce heat to medium and cook until syrup thickens, about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in:
    • 1 cup mint, fresh , loosely packed
  5. Remove mint when syrup has cooled.
  6. For a drink, mix a pitcher with syrup (measuring about 1 1/2 cups) with:
    • 6 cup water , cold
    • 3 Persian cucumbers , grated
  7. This will yield a sweeter drink. Add more water to dilute to your taste preference.


Serving Suggestions: The drink is best served ice cold. Serve the syrup with crispy lettuce leaves like Romaine hearts or iceberg.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 6

Cook Time:

And check out what the fabulous Labor Day Menu the #SundaySupper crew came up with:

Starters & Snacks

Main Dishes

Salads & Sides



Wine Pairings

  • Labor Day Cookout Food And Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ

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59 Responses to Persian Mint & Cucumber Cooler (Sekanjabin) for #SundaySupper

  1. I must try this! How unique and refreshing.

  2. Renee at #

    Oh how fresh and wonderful! And how fun and interesting to have it as a dipping sauce for lettuce. Something I never would have thought of. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  3. Sounds refreshing Laura! I love mint and cucumber in dressing, so i bet this tastes great together!

  4. Nothing is more refreshing than cucumber and mint, I love this!

  5. Gorgeous photos! And this sounds so refreshing!

  6. Sounds so refreshing!

  7. I love these flavors and the vinegar puts it over the top. It’s a bit too much sugar for me though, do you think stevia would work?

    • Laura at #

      Absolutely, but you will have to determine the quantity. You can also use honey or agave nectar.

  8. Liz at #

    Oh, this sounds so refreshing and tasty! We’re having a rare rainy day, but I bet this would be perfect when the air heats back up again! Beautiful #SundaySupper post~

  9. Amy Kim at #

    I love the mint and cucumber combination! So refreshing! Lovely photos and I am a big fan of Persian cuisine. Not to digress, but I found the most difficult thing to make really well is Persian rice (mine always comes out mushy without that golden crust). It’s always the seemingly simplest dishes! So happy to find your index of recipes!

  10. This is totally new to me – I love it! The vinegar must really taste good in this. Great combo of flavors – thanks for introducing me.

    • Laura at #

      It gives this nice tang, making it a sweet & sour drink! And the hubby likes to spike it with vodka or rum!

  11. Oh, this looks SO cool and refreshing…perfect for a steamy day. And I am IN LOVE with that pitcher!

  12. Katy at #

    How elegant and fresh! Such a different-sounding drink, that would be great at any cookout!

  13. I really love seeing your traditional recipes and learning how they are enjoyed. I’m not the biggest cucumber fan, but I have to admit this does look beautiful and very refreshing!

    • Laura at #

      You don’t have to include the cucumber. I offered the drink to some kids who don’t like cucumbers and they chugged the cup down!

  14. Melanie at #

    So refreshing looking– must try

  15. I love this idea…it’s hot in Texas still, so we’re always looking for refreshing ways to stay hydrated. Pinned this one to try later this week!!

    • Laura at #

      Oh, yeah! It’s perfect for those hot Texas days – and nights!

  16. Gorgeous photos and sounds incredibly refreshing for summertime!

  17. I know I would love this. It looks so good!!

  18. Everything you mention in this post sounds so intriguing and refreshing! The lettuce dipped in mint syrup is so novel. Wonderful drink and gorgeous jar holder!

    • Laura at #

      Home Goods or Marshalls – two of my favorite places to hunt for unique deals!

  19. Gorgeous pictures. This sounds so refreshing and perfect for summer!

  20. Bea at #

    Sounds so good! I wish it was still hot here 🙂

  21. Not only is this on my must try list… you photography is just gorgeous! Thank you for sharing during #SundaySupper

  22. Sheila Fretz at #

    This sounds amazing and I think I will have to try this dish!

  23. Oh this is such a cool and refreshing drink. I must must try this out soon. 🙂

  24. Wow, that was some menu! I love your clean, crisp photos.

  25. I always love mint and cucumber combination but it’s in a drink? Wow I would love to try this. And I must say how gorgeous your photography is, Laura! Your photography makes me refreshed by looking at it! 😉

  26. This sounds so tasty and refreshing

  27. Sarah at #

    This drink sounds so cool and refreshing! Love hearing about your culture. I would love to try Persian cuisine. Thank you for sharing your stories and this recipe.

  28. Amanda at #

    oh yum! your pictures are so pretty!

  29. It’s a pet peeve of mine to hear people say that summer is over on Labor Day. I’m weird like that:) There’s still 3 more weeks left, let’s enjoy them. This cooler would be perfect for the hot weather, or to even bring a little summer into winter. I think I would also prefer the drink over the dip, but I’d be happy to try both. Thanks for sharing Laura and I hope you had a great holiday!

    • Laura at #

      Totally agree, especially since we are sweating it out and it’s September!

  30. I love this, beautiful presentation also!

  31. This cooler sounds delicious, and your photos are absolutely beautiful. Pinned!

  32. This looks delightfully refreshing! We have a somewhat similar cooler in Mexico made with cucumber and lime juice. I can only imagine how much for refreshing it is with the addition of mint.

    • Laura at #

      Oooh, I love the idea of swapping out vinegar and using lime juice!

  33. This sounds really interesting! I’ve actually never tried cucumber water of any sort, but I love that yours has some syrup for sweetness.

    Jamie @

  34. RecipeNewZ at #

    I just stopped by to thank you for the recipe. I made your Sekanjabin, both ways: as a drink and as a dipping sauce. And both are wonderful, even for this chilly weather :-).

    And, as a bonus, I had a lesson in candy making :-). After adding the vinegar I set the timer to 30 minutes and left, and when I returned the sugar was burnt… errr…. caramelized :-). I still tried to add the mint, but when everything cooled it hardened, and I could not even pull the mint out, and had to reheat the mixture, which by then had burned completely. But I did not give up, and made the second batch, but this time I cooked it for 20 minutes, and I had my reward: it turned out perfect!

    So it was a learning experience and 2 new yummy dishes all in one :-). And I still have some left – that’s the best part! Thank you, Laura!
    And the photos are amazing, needless to say. These bright happy green colors really inspired me to cook this, even though I have no time at all these days.

    • Laura at #

      Oh yeah, when making syrups you can’t leave the pot for too long! I’ll definitely add that to my directions!!! You are awesome for trying it with lettuce. I have another pitcher of the drink in my fridge now. It’s been so hot and humid here, so unlike San Diego’s normal weather, every time my hubby comes home from work he sucks down a few glasses! And the syrup can last you a month in the fridge, so you don’t have to cook too much!

  35. Hi Laura,

    I remember this recipe, glad you submitted it. Thanks for being a part of the YBR:)


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