Sherbet in the US has come to mean a sorbet-like iced dish but the origins are from sharbah meaning a drink. Sherbet or Sharbat is a drink made from fruits, flower petals and/or herbs with sugar and lime and diluted with water, milk, coconut milk or evaporated milk. It is generally served over ice. Turkey, India, Afghanistan and other countries in the region all have their versions of sherbet. They are delicious summer coolers.
Kewra, an essence made from the flower of the Pandanus plant (also called Screwpine) has an unusual but pleasant taste. It is used to flavour rice, drinks, and desserts in Northern India and South East Asia. The floral fragrance gives a calming influence and is said to help in mental relaxation. Kewra also combines well with other flower waters such as rose water and orange blossom water, and they can be combined in any recipe that uses one or the other.
You can read more about Kewra and Pandanus here.
Today we flavour a Summer Cooler with Kewra. Such drinks are common in North India, combining the base flavour with water and lemon juice. We use the Kewra Water, but you can use also use Kewra essence. Just add a 1 or 2 drops per glass.
You might like to read 40 of our Best Coolers for Summer.
Kewra Sherbet | Pandan Cooler
ingredients for each glass
1 -1.5 tspn Kewra Water
1 – 2 tspn lemon or lime juice
2 tspn sugar or jaggery (or to taste)
cold water, sparkling water or carbonated lemon drink (I love it with Tonic Water)
4 ice cubes
Dissolve the sugar in a little water, then add the Kewra Water, lemon or lime juice and water or sparkling water. Pour into a long glass with the ice cubes and enjoy chilled.
recipe notes and alternatives
Add a little rosewater, orange blossom water or khus syrup, and reduce the amount of kewra water a little.
Crush some mint leaves in your hands and add to your glass before pouring the drink.