Sekanjabin Recipe- Refreshing Persian Minty Drink- Refined Sugar Free Options

 photo IMG_0120_zpsayoz6lek.jpgI'm not exactly sure the first time I heard about the Persian drink called sekanjabin, but it intrigued me. I like making and enjoying foods from around the world, but I'll admit, Persian food is something I'm not very familiar with, and the recipes that I'd tried didn't appeal to me so much.
However, sekanjabin just sounded really interesting. It's kind of a minty lemonade, though in place of lemon you use vinegar.
Traditionally it is made with honey- which works perfectly for people who want to avoid refined sugar, though if you want to keep it cheaper you can use white sugar to taste instead, and if you want to make it vegan and still refined sugar free, I've made it successfully with coconut sugar (though you'll need more to make it sweet enough).
This recipe usually calls for fresh mint, but alas, I have none growing nearby me fresh, and buying fresh herbs from the grocery store gets expensive, so I just make this the cheater way- with mint extract. Note about that- the first few times I made it, it was with a mint extract that was oil based, which actually made the sekanjabin somewhat unappealing to drink because you saw little droplets of oil floating on the top. So if you want to make this with extract, use something alcohol based, not oil based. K?
Of course, if you do want to use fresh mint, you can, but then it's a more complicated process and involves boiling it up together, etc... so I suggest using extract.

My family and I like our sekanjabin strong and tart and not too sweet, so feel free to adjust this to taste, adding more or less water, more or less sweetener, more or less vinegar, or more or less mint extract. Hey- by the time you finish fiddling with this recipe and make it to taste, I might as well not have given you any exact recipe, but haha, oh well.

If you want to know how popular this is with my family- my kids saw me making it to snap this picture just as they were heading to bed, and it was a big battle to get them to actually go to sleep and not have this first- the only way I was able to get them to agree to sleep without the sekanjabin was to promise that it would be waiting for them first thing in the morning. Yup, it's that popular.

Sekanjabin Recipe- Refreshing Persian Minty Drink- Refined Sugar Free Options

1/4-1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or even wine vinegar (red or white)
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon honey, sugar, coconut sugar, etc... or to taste
6-8 cups water
1-2 drops mint or peppermint extract or to taste- but seriously, don't overdo it or you'll feel like you're drinking mint toothpaste

1. Mix your vinegar and your sweetener together until the sweetener is dissolved.

2. Add your water and your mint extract.

3. Adjust flavors to taste.

4. Chill.

5. Enjoy cold. Ok, it doesn't have to be cold but it is much more enjoyable cold!

Note: If you want to make this into a concentrate, feel free to just mix the sweetener, vinegar, and mint extract together with a drop of water until you have a syrup, then add the syrup to your cups of water immediately before drinking. I don't bother- I prefer to make it all in one go, but feel free to do it this way if you like.

Have you ever had or even heard of sekanjabin before? It is such a fun name- try saying it with a Persian accent- seh-kan-jah-been! 
Ever have a drink made with vinegar before?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I don't like mint, you think lemon extract would work?

    1. Lemon and vinegar seems like a bit much. I have seen a recipe with ginger instead of mint.

    2. Don't like ginger eighter... guess I'll pass, then!

  2. Interesting! I'll have to try it -- my great grandma used to make an apple cider vinegar and honey and water drink (as opposed to great grandpa who mixed the vinegar and honey and drank it straight.) Never thought of adding mint.

  3. Sekanjabi, or shekanjabi is the name of drink which is like lemonade in Punjabi, a language spoken in some parts of India and Pakistan.
    It is my favorite drink of summer and is available in roadside stalls at less than a dime in India. my grandma would soak mint in water n then add lemonjuice salt n sugar and some ice.miss those days .now i live in usa n have tasted shikanjbi at many places , indian , pakistani, persian but nothiing tastes like that one.your post made me nostalgic Btw, I love your blog n landed here while I was looking for some frugal blogs to save money.

  4. You can also mix with shredded cucumbers that is how we drink it in Iran

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