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
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- Baked Shrimp and Pasta Caprese by Mama’s Blissful Bites
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- Newfangled Cowtown White Chicken Chili by Shockingly Delicious
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- Spicy Seoulful Pulled Pork Sandwiches by Kimchi Mom
- Smoked Pork Butt (A How-To) from Juanita’s Cocina
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- 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
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- Aromatic Glazed Salmon by Happy Baking Days
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Salads & Sides
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- Labor Day Cookout Food And Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ