Just like Ramdan’s signature dishes, there are certain drinks that we’ve come to associate with Ramadan. Whether out of Islamic tradition, nutritional values, or delicious energising components, some drinks always make it to our Iftar table, day after day, year after year. But, unlike some signature dishes of Ramadan, all such drinks are specific to Ramadan. They are rarely ones that we think about outside of the holy month; no matter how much we love and enjoy them to break our fast with, when Ramadan is over, they’re curiously moved to the background!
But while we have them on our table, we enjoy them!
Qamar al-Din (Apricot Juice)
Qamar al-din, in particular, has a special connection to Ramadan. One of the theories of the popular drink’s origin says that the apricot season coincided with the sighting of the new moon, marking the beginning of Ramadan. The drink is made from dried apricot paste and is usually served thick and cold. Naturally sweet and delicious, qamar al-din also easily reinstates energy, electrolytes, and hydration, making it invaluable after a long day of fasting,
Balah Bel Laban (Dates and Milk)
Another one of Egypt’s popular Ramadan drinks is balah bel laban, or dates and milk! A part of its origin goes back to the prophet’s advice to break your fast with a date, and soon enough, its mix with milk became popular. In Egypt, it’s natural to find yourself handed a glass if you happen to be in the streets during the Maghrib call to prayer.
Tamr Hindy (Tamarind)
Tamr Hindy is a tamarind-based beverage that can always be found in Cairo. In any Aseer Asab (sugarcane) specialised juice shop, tamr hindy will most certainly be there among the main drinks. However, despite our appreciation of it throughout the year, it’s most prevalent in Ramadan.
This one is quite specific to Ramadan, where most wait for the chilled coconut drink to break their fast! Sobia is made from coconut powder, milk, and sugar, which is perfect for quenching your thirst and giving you the refreshing after-feel during summer, or in this case, spring.
While this drink is popular throughout the year, in many regions around the world, it has become a tradition to include karkadeh as part of the Ramadan drink and list.
Kharoob or carob is unique on this list for being particular to Egypt. Throughout the year, street vendors roam the streets with impressive shows and tricks while pouring the kharoob. Juice shops and coffee shops sell it all year long, but again, it’s in Ramadan when we find it on our Iftar table, waiting for us among the rest of the other drinks.