Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins
In Iran, a pitcher of sekanjabin is served at family picnics, especially during those long, hot months. 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. Some prefer 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.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 7 cups water, divided
- 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 the sugar and wateruntil dissolved.
- Let syrup boil together for 10 minutes, then add the white wine vinegar
- Reduce heat to medium and cook until syrup thickens, about 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the 1 cup mint. Remove mint when syrup has cooled.
- For a drink, mix a pitcher with syrup (measuring about 1 1/2 cups) with.
- the 6 cups cold water and grated cucumber.
- This will yield a sweeter drink. Add more water to dilute to your taste preference.
- The drink is best served ice cold. Serve the syrup with crispy lettuce leaves like Romaine hearts or iceberg.