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.
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.
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!
And if you like something a little stronger, use the sekanjabin syrup to make this Vodka and Mint Fizz!
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
- In a small pot over medium-high heat whisk together until dissolved:
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 cup mint, fresh , loosely packed
- 6 cup water , cold
- 3 Persian cucumbers , grated
Serving Suggestions: The drink is best served ice cold. Serve the syrup with crispy lettuce leaves like Romaine hearts or iceberg.
Yield: Serves 6
And check out what the fabulous Labor Day Menu the #SundaySupper crew came up with:
Starters & Snacks
- Lobster Salad with Avocado, Corn and Tomatoes by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Grilled Vegetable Spread by Magnolia Days
- Toast Topper #8: Tomato Confit for #SundaySupper by Yummy Smells
- Honey BBQ Wings and Cool Ranch by Big Bears Wife
- Finger Lickin’ Chicken Drumettes by Noshing with the Nolands
- Baked Shrimp and Pasta Caprese by Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Korean chili by Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
- Newfangled Cowtown White Chicken Chili by Shockingly Delicious
- Strawberry BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches by The Weekend Gourmet
- Spicy Seoulful Pulled Pork Sandwiches by Kimchi Mom
- Smoked Pork Butt (A How-To) from Juanita’s Cocina
- Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs by The Messy Baker Blog
- Stuffed Green Chili con Queso Cheeseburger Sliders by Damn Delicious
- Adana kebab by Small Wallet, Big Appetite
- Portabello Paninis by The Hand That Rocks the Ladle
- Bloody Mary Skirt Steak by From Fast Food to Fresh Food
- Tuna and Roasted Pepper Packets by Cindy’s Recipes & Writings
- Mint Marinated Beef Kabobs with Garlic Sauce by Sustainable Dad
- Creamy Latin Style Pasta by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Spicy Portuguese Style Sliders by Daily Dish Recipes
- Aromatic Glazed Salmon by Happy Baking Days
- Pork sliders by Basic ‘N Delicious
- Foil Packet Chicken by In the Kitchen with Audrey
Salads & Sides
- Mom’s Savory Pork’n’Beans by Webicurean
- Ranch Potato Salad by My Catholic Kitchen
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- Roasted Potato & Corn Salad w/ Bacon by GirliChef
- Vegan Caprese Salad by Galactosemia in PDX
- Picnic Friendly Grilled Vegetable Salad by Mama Mommy Mom
- Smokin Hot Caribbean Spiced Corn-On-The-Cob by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Potato salad with Stilton and bacon by Tora’s Real Food
- Tomato Feta Orzo Salad by Family Foodie
- lightened lemon pound cake by The Meltaways
- Root Beer Float Cupcakes by Chocolate Moosey
- Strawberry Cream Squares by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
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- Easy Desserts: Frozen Chocolate Bananas by Home Cooking Memories
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- Blueberry Lemon Whoopie Pies for a Holiday Cookout #SundaySupper by In the Kitchen with KP
- Labor Day Cookout Food And Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ