An Azerbaijani sherbet is a sweet cold drink made of fruit juice mixed or boiled with sugar, often perfumed with rose water. Sherbets (not to be confused with sorbet ices) are of Iranian origin and they may differ greatly in consistency, from very thick and jam-like as in Tajik cuisine to very light and liquid, as in Azerbaijan. Sherbets are typically prepared in the following natural flavors: Lemon Pomegranate Strawberry Cherry Apricot Pomegranate Strawberry Cherry Apricot Mint sherbet

Sherbets, as a symbol of celebration, are consumed at weddings, dinner parties, banquets and similar events. They are also served with pilaf. When preparing sherbets and sweet drinks, hot or warm water and alcohol are infused with aromatic herbs for 8-12 hours, and the resulting mix is strained. Then, sugar is added, it is heated and left to cool. Other ingredients are then added according to the recipe, and, if necessary, it is strained once again, chilled and served.

Gandab Sherbet
Sugar – 100 g, honey – 50 g, herb syrup – 100 ml, water – 800 ml.
Dissolve the sugar in hot water and add the honey. Flavour the resulting sherbet with syrups obtained from equally strong aromatic herbs (yarrow, violet willow, mint, catnip etc.) Gandab sherbet has the quality of increasing one’s appetite. It is served with pilafs and other Azerbaijani dishes that are rich in fat. It also facilitates digestion. In traditional medicine, syrup sherbet is used to prevent general weakness, anaemia and dizziness.

Rose Sherbet
Sugar - 120 g, basil or mint seeds - 8 g, rose oil – 0.25 g, water - 800 ml, ice – 200g.
Add the basil or mint seeds to boiled water at a temperature of 45-550 C and leave for 3-4 hours. Then strain the resulting mixture. Add sugar and rose oil and leave to cool. Add the ice before serving.

Apricot Sherbet
Sugar - 60 g, dried apricots – 500 g, water – 800 g, ice - 100 g.
Rinse the dried apricots in cold water together with their stones. Then pour hot water over them and leave to soak for one day. Strain the resulting mixture through gauze and, if necessary, add the sugar. Add the ice before serving. Serve the swollen apricots on a separate plate. Apricot sherbet has a therapeutic-prophylactic effect on constipation and high blood pressure. One may also use prunes to prepare a similar sherbet.

Saffron Sherbet
Sugar - 120 g, saffron – 0.6 g, basil or mint seeds – 0.4 g, water - 800 ml, ice - 80 g.
Leave the basil or mint seeds, together with the saffron, to soak in boiled water for 3-4 hours. Then strain the resulting mixture and mix with sugar. Add the ice before serving. A teaspoon of citric acid may be added to improve the taste.

Lemon Sherbet
Sugar - 200 g, medium-size lemon - 1, saffron – 0.4 g, basil or coriander seeds – 0.4 g, water - 600 ml, ice - 200 g.
Peel the lemon and slice into small pieces. Then pour water at 45-500 C over the lemon and add basil or coriander seeds. Leave the mixture for 3-4 hours, then strain and mix with a syrup previously prepared from sugar and lemon pulp; leave to cool. Add saffron tincture and ice when serving. Cardamom may be used instead of basil seeds. Cardamom gives more flavour and delicacy to the taste. To prepare a saffron tincture, soak the saffron in boiled and cooled water for 6-8 hours.

Sherbet with mint
Sugar - 120 g, mint seeds – 1.6 g or green mint - 60 g, water - 600-700 ml, ice - 200 g.
Infuse hot, boiled water with mint seeds for 4-6 hours. To make a tincture of green mint, chop the green mint and pour hot water over it. Then strain the mint tincture and mix with sugar. Add the ice before serving.