Rooh Afza – For most of us it has been an integral part of our childhood. Most of us have had Rooh Afza in some form or the other when we were younger. I distinctively remember getting scolded by my mother in the hot sultry Delhi evenings while playing cricket, to come inside and have milk. As a child I absolutely hated milk, but what made it slightly more bearable was the fact that mother gave it to me chilled with Rooh Afza mixed in it. Even as I write this, that exact taste of childhood comes back fleeting into my mouth and I am sure that would be the case with a lot of you as well.
What is it?
It is kind of a concentrated squash made using a mix of fruits, flowers, and herbs. Rooh Afza translates to “Refresher of the Soul”. It is made using ingredients that were commonly known to help the body cool down in the incredibly hot summers of the Indian plains. It was formulated in Ghaziabad, a town near Delhi in 1906 by Naqi Ali Shah. The drink is manufactured by Hamdard Laboratories in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. However, the unpatented drink is also manufactured by other companies in various iterations going by different brand names.
The recipe of the concentrate is based on Unani medicine, intended to help people combat heat strokes and dehydration. The concentrate contains ingredients such as Rose, Apples, Watermelons, Mint, Vetiver, Orange, Lemon, Lotus amongst other things. Check out Rooh Afza Recipes and How Rooh Afza is made below.
Recipes and How to Use it?
Rooh Afza Drink is generally made as sherbet or as a milkshake of sorts. It is served with milk and ice in it’s most traditional form or with water and ice for a lighter version of the same. When served with milk or water it acts as a traditional welcome drink and will often be found being served to guests in Indian homes.
Rooh Afza Drink is also prepared as a part of Iftar. Iftar is the fast-breaking meal in the evening observed by Muslims during the Holy month of Ramadan. It was believed to provide instant nourishment and relief to the body from the fast in the harsh climatic conditions. The fast is generally broken by consuming dates and Rooh Afza drink.
Another traditional iteration of the Rooh Afza Drink is called Mohabbat Ka Sherbet, which is found in the areas surrounding Jama Masjid in Delhi. Mohabbat Ka Sherbet is one of the Rooh Afza recipes that have been winning over heart of the people since forever. Mohabbat Ka Sherbet literally translates to Drink of Love and is made using Rooh Afza, watermelons, mint, milk, water and ice.
It is also utilised as a flavoursome syrup on fruits, icecreams, kulfi, falooda amongst other things. With an incredible flavour and aroma profile, how to utilise Rooh Afza offer endless possibilities and the world is your oyster when it comes to experiementing with it. We’ll help you get the ball rolling with this incredible Rooh Ahza drink called the Blushing Rose. You can try making Rooh Afza cocktail too using the same recipe.
The Blushing Rose: Recipe
- 30 ml Roohafza syrup
- 10 ml Rosewater
- 90 ml Coconut milk
- 2-3 Cardamom Pods
- 15 ml Lemon Juice
- Dried Rose petals to garnish
- In a cocktail shaker muddle cardamom with roohafza syrup
- Add rose water and coconut milk
- Shake with ice
- Add lemon and stir
- Strain into a glass and garnish
If you’d like a Rooh Afza cocktail, you can add 60 ml of your favourite gin to the above recipe. HERE is a Rooh Afza Cocktail which is an Indian take on the classic Cosmopolitan.
We are covering contemporary ways to utilise and present our traditional welcome drinks and the vast repertoire and history of syrups and flavours that we possess. Check out an amazing alcohol-free drink made using Khus Khus Syrup to keep the summer blues away.