[Sca-cooks] Period Non-Alcoholic Beverages-was Citrus
lilinah at earthlink.net
Sat Mar 29 14:05:37 PDT 2008
>As well as the citrus-based syrups, there was also a vinegar-based
>one whose name escapes me; it tasted remarkably like lemonade when
>mixed with water. Anyone remember the name of it? It's getting warm
>again in Oldenfeld...
There is a lemon syrup recipe in the anonymous Andalusian cookbook
which is NOT a sikanjubin made of lemon juice and sugar, which tastes
remarkably like lemonade when mixed with water because that's pretty
much what it is.
27. Syrup of Lemon
Take lemon, after peeling its outer skin, press it and take a ratl of
juice, and add as much of sugar. Cook it until it takes the form of a
syrup. Its advantages are for the heat of bile; it cuts the thirst
and binds the bowels.
>Oxymel is the general term for vinegar-sweet syrups. The specific one
>called Sekanjabin is very popular.
>Lookie here: http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/cariadoc/drinks.html
As Selene implies, to be Sikanjubin it MUST have vinegar. I mention
this because a number of SCAdians create beverage syrups that include
all manner of fruits and/or spices and no vinegar and call them
Sekanjabin. Without vinegar it's not Sikanjubin. Rather it's a basic
beverage syrup which in Arabic is a sharbat.
In the recently published "Medieval cuisine of the Islamic world" by
Lilia Zaouali, there is the one and only historical Sikanjubin recipe
i've seen that includes fruit. In this case is Quince Sikanjubin,
from the 13th C. Egyptian "Kanz al-fawa'id fi tanwi' al-mawa'id".
Quince Sikanjubin (pp. 133-134)
One needs the juice from Isfahan quinces or from another delicious
and fragrant kind. Take one part [of juice], an equal amount of
refined white sugar, and one-quarter of this same amount of strong
vinegar, and make a thick syrup from it. If one wishes to add to it
thin slices of quince, as the common people do, do this toward the
end of the cooking... One may scent it with rosewater in which
saffron and musk have been dissolved. Some add honey... others do not
put in vinegar...
(the ellipsis (...) indicates a break in the original text)
Zaouali follows this in her book with another quince syrup recipe,
also from the "Kanz", which is actually another sikanjubin...
Quince Syrup (p. 134)
Take some quinces, peel them, pit them, and cook them in water. When
they have become tender it means they are half-cooked. Take them off
the fire and reserve the cooking liquid. Dissolve some sugar in this
liquid and add vinegar. Then the moment it begins to thicken, through
in the quinces and bring them to a boil once or twice. Then take them
off the fire, and add the juice of one or two limes, and scent with
And while we're on the topic of quince beverage syrups, here's one i
made for a feast, which is NOT a sikanjubin, from a 14th century
Laimun Safarjali - Lemon-Quince-Rosewater Syrup Beverage
One part quince juice and three parts filtered syrup, in both of
which you have boiled pieces of quince until nearly done. They are
taken up, and the syrup takes it consistency. To every pound of the
whole you add two ounces of lemon juice. Then return the pieces of
quince; they improve the consistency. It is scented with musk,
saffron and rose-water and taken up and used.
(The Book of the Description of Familiar Foods, p. 442-443, "Medieval
2 dozen quinces
5 to 8 pounds granulated white sugar
juice of 12 lemons
several capfuls rosewater, Cortas brand
1/2 tsp. saffron
1. Cut quinces in quarters. Core and remove flower and stem ends. Cut
further into eighths (that is, each quince is ultimately cut in eight
2. Put quinces in deep kettle, cover with water and turn fire to high.
3. Pour in 5 lb. sugar. Stir well.
4. When liquid begins to boil, reduce fire to medium and continue to
simmer, stirring frequently so bottom of pan doesn't burn.
5. Do NOT mash quinces. I did and it was a BIG mistake. I did not get
enough syrup, although the mashed quinces were delicious.
6. When liquid has thickened and has become a lovely amber-rose color
- many hours later - remove from heat and allow to cool.
7. Soak saffron in rosewater while syrup is cooling.
8. When cool enough to manage, put a strainer over a deep bowl, and
begin scooping out quinces and liquid. Allow to strain without
mashing or pressing fruit. Remove resulting liquid to another large
9. After you've drained the quinces well, and syrup has cooled, check
the consistency and flavor. It should be somewhat syrupy and have a
tart-sweet flavor. It doesn't need to be clear. In fact, the original
recommends having some fruity bits in it, so you can add some mashed
quince at this point. If syrup isn't sweet enough, put in kettle on
high fire, add more sugar, stir well, bring to boil, then reduce to
high simmer, and cook down a little more.
10. When syrup is thoroughly cooled, add lemon juice and rose water.
11. To drink, fill a pitcher about 2/3 full of water and add a bit of
syrup. Taste. Add more syrup until you are satisfied (the commercial
syrup is diluted 1 part syrup to 5 parts water). It should have a
sweet-tart flavor, redolent of quinces, roses, and saffron.
NOTE: Since musk is rather expensive (and getting it involves some
animal cruelty) i've never cooked with it.
BTW, Sadaf (a "Middle Eastern" food manufacturer and importer) sells
bottled Quince & Lemon Syrup (it says Laimon-Safarjaliy on the label
in Arabic). It does not contain any rosewater or saffron, and is
nowhere near as delicious as home-made syrup. But it's a lot less
work :-) I recommend that if one purchases it, one adds rosewater -
soak some saffron in the rosewater, if you feel up to it - and fresh
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita
More information about the Sca-cooks