Ramadan 2023: 10 Traditional Iftar Drinks From Around The World
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The holy month of Ramadan is a significant time for Muslims around the world. Most of the Islamic world keeps a rigorous ritual fast from dawn till dusk, better known as Suhoor and Iftar. Both these times are accompanied by ritual foods that provide nutrition and energy, apart from being absolutely delicious. And while people around the world are familiar with the dishes eaten for Suhoor and Iftar, from the Indian haleem to the Saudi kabsa, most people are unfamiliar with the traditional drinks offered especially during Iftar. 

Each region of the world which has a sizeable Muslim population has its own dishes and drinks to break the Ramadan fast with during Iftar. These drinks are usually prepared with local ingredients and their recipes have interesting stories behind them too. The idea behind breaking the fast with a drink is to refresh the body, mind and soul. A nourishing drink also soothes the body and prepares the system for Iftar foods, some of which can be quite heavy. 

Here are some of the most popular drinks that are traditionally consumed during Ramadan for Iftar across the globe. 

Mohabbat Ka Sharbat – India

Packed with watermelons and rose syrup, this pink drink is made with chilled milk and ice cubes. Most people in India know Mohabbat Ka Sharbat as an iconic drink served near Jama Masjid in Old Delhi. Naturally, the drink is served to the public visiting the mosque for evening prayers, making it a must during Iftar. What makes this drink unique is the rosy flavour, the floating watermelon chunks and the pink colour. 

Jallab – UAE

Jallab is a typical summer drink popularly consumed in not only the United Arab Emirates but also the entire Middle East region. The drink is a staple during Ramadan and is prepared in every household. A paste of dates, grape mollases is mixed with rose water, ice and soaked almonds to make Jallab. The drink doesn’t just hydrate and energize the body but also nourishes it. 

Qamar Al-Din – Middle East

Dried apricot holds a special place in Middle Eastern cuisine, and this drink highlights the value of the fruit during summers. Qamar Al-Din, also known as Amar al-Din, is made with apricot paste, water, sugar and mint leaves. Because it is so refreshing and nutritious, it is ritually consumed as an Iftar drink not only in the Middle East but also North Africa. 

Kharoub – Egypt

Also known as carob juice, Kharoub is an essential part of Iftar in Egypt as well as other Middle Eastern countries. Prepared with carob pods boiled in water, this thick drink is so packed with protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that people in Egypt drink it even beyond Ramadan to improve heart health and aid weight loss. Kharoub is, however, a bit thick in consistency and may be an acquired taste for others. 

Hilo Murr – Sudan

Made of fermented maize, herbs and spices, Hilo Murr is a heavily scented drink that is very popular in Sudan. In fact, the drink is served during Ramadan in Sudanese homes around the world. The preparation process of Hilo Murr is time consuming since the spiced and fermented batter is cooked to form sheets, which are then soaked in water and mixed with sugar before serving. The drink smells and tastes predominantly of cinnamon, ginger and hibiscus. 

Es Kopyor – Indonesia 

This drink unique to Indonesia and Philippinnes, Es Kopyor is made by mixing orange juice or rose syrup with a special coconut variety known as kopyor. Also known as macapuno or coconut sport, this coconut variety is famed for its tender flesh which is used to make Es Kopyor as an Iftar drink. Apart from kopyor coconut milk, the drink also includes sugar, agar agar powder and syrup of rose or oranges. 

Dates & Milk – Middle East

This simple and nutritious Iftar drink’s origins are traced back to the Prophet Mohammed, who broke fasts by ritually consuming dates and milk. Muslims across the Middle East and the world soak dried dates in milk overnight and then grind them together to make this drink. Even beyond Ramadan, this dates and milk drink is consumed by Muslims to break all sorts of ritual fasts. 

Sahlab – Lebanon

This Lebanese drink is so thick in consistency that many people have it as a type of pudding. Sahlab is a traditional drink made of hot milk which has been flavoured with—rather packed with—various nutritious nuts and cinnamon. While it is prepared with hot milk, the drink can also be served cold or chilled for Iftar. During Ramadan, this drink is also traditionally prepared in Syria, Jordan and Palestine. 

Sobia – Egypt

Starchy, milky and usually white in colour, Sobia is a drink that originates in Egypt but is popularly consumed across the Middle East and North Africa during the month of Ramadan. The drink is made by fermenting rice with water, sugar, milk and coconut milk overnight. Often, Sobia is also dyed red. So popular is this drink in Saudi Arabia that during Ramadan, Sobia is sold in plastic bags by street vendors. 

Tamar Hindi – UAE

In case you didn’t know, tamarind is popularly known in Middle Eastern countries by the Arabic term, Tamr Hendi or Tamar Hindi, which literally translates to Indian dates. Tamar Hindi is also the name of a sour drink that is prepared during the month of Ramadan across the UAE and Middle East. Tamarind is soaked and then mixed with sugar and water to make a simple, sour drink that’s consumed during Iftar.