Ad Lo Yada: Persian Cocktails For Purim

Two kinds of Iranian Sharbat along-with Iranian Tea — by Ronit Treatman

There is a rabbinic saying (Meg. 7b) that on Purim we should become intoxicated to the point of “ad lo yada” or not being able to differentiate between “Blessed be Mordecai” and “Cursed be Haman.”  What should we become intoxicated with?  In the spirit of Purim, it seems very appropriate to indulge in exotic Persian cocktails.

Cocktail recipes after the jump.
This mandate to drink alcohol provides us with an opportunity to be creative and mix some festive Persian Purim cocktails.  The following concoctions were inspired by the Persian Sharbat.  Sharbat is a sweet drink made with fruits, spices, or flower petals.  It is served chilled.  The Mughal rulers tasted the sharbats of the Persians, and introduced them to the Indian subcontinent.  One of these rulers loved sharbat so much, that he had ice hauled down from the Himalayas to make his favorite beverages.  Each of these drinks contains one shot of vodka (1.5 oz.), which has 40% alcohol.

Gulab Ka Sharbat: Pomegranate-Rose Water Cocktail
Adapted from Petrina Verma Sarkar

  • 1 1/2 ounces of vodka
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup rosewater

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker over ice cubes.  Shake vigorously.  Pour through a strainer into a chilled coupette glass, leaving the ice behind.  Garnish with fresh rose petals.

Sharbat-e Ablimu: Lime Cocktail
Adapted from Sookandcook

  • 1 1/2 ounces of vodka
  • 6 1/2 ounce of water
  • 1 large ripe lime
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (or to taste)

Boil the water, and incorporate the sugar into it to make a simple syrup.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Pour the syrup, vodka, and juice of one lime into a shaker over ice cubes.  Shake vigorously.  Pour through a strainer into a chilled coupette glass, leaving the ice behind.  Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint and a slice of lime.

Sharbat-e Zaferan: Saffron Cocktail
Adapted from ramkicooks

  • 1 1/2 ounces of vodka
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of saffron threads
  1. Prepare a simple syrup by boiling one cup of water, and then dissolving 2 cups of sugar into it.  
  2. Add one tablespoon of saffron threads.  
  3. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon.
  4. Allow to cool to room temperature.  
  5. Pour the vodka, 6 1/2 ounces of water, and 1/3 cup of syrup into a shaker over ice cubes.  
  6. Shake vigorously.  
  7. Pour through a strainer into a chilled coupette glass, leaving the ice behind.  
  8. Garnish with saffron threads.

This Purim, you can perfom the mitzvah of getting tipsy while savoring Persia’s unique flavors.  With vodka as your neutral palette, you can add the interesting accents of pomegranate, rosewater, saffron, and lime.  Chag Purim Sameach!  Happy Purim!