TOP 10 BEVERAGES IN EGYPT

Strawberries and Melons.

Strawberries and Melons.

by Islam El Shazly

Because of its location on the Mediterranean and the crossroads between Africa and Asia, Egypt has access to a lot of fruits that might not be available in other places in the world, particularly North America. Some of these fruits are exotic by European and North American standards; while others are common everywhere. I tried to have fresh juice in Canada, and frankly it didn’t come close to what we have over here.

Below is a list of just a few of the most brilliant drinks you can find in Egypt, and believe me there is an insane amount of cocktails available to satisfy even the most demanding taste buds.

Warning! Drooling might occur.

1. Mowz bil-Laban (Banana with Milk) / Jawafa bil-Laban (Guava with Milk):

Both equally very delicious drinks that are very nice anytime of the year; Banana or Guava blended together with Milk and are served cold. It’s definitely one way to get the young ones to drink their milk.

Strawberris. Mangos, and Guava with Milk.

Strawberry Juice, Mango Juice, and Gwava with Milk.

2. Strawberry Juice / Mango Juice:

They are both staples in Egyptian household, wedding and gathering and are the easiest drinks to identify. Both are sweet and refreshing.

3. Qasab(Sugarcane Juice):

A uniquely Egyptian drink, served cold it is an awesome way to keep cool in the hot summer days of Egypt. Sugarcane is planted all over the south of Egypt where temperatures and soils are perfect for it. It is a brilliant drink, and in a hot day it is the perfect natural picker-upper to get your energy back.

Sugarcane Juice.

Sugarcane Juice. King of the hill on a hot day.

4. Karakadey (Hibiscus Juice):

Another very popular drink in Egypt is Karkadey, a juice made of the dried Hibiscus flower. The best thing about it is that you can have it cold or hot, however, the one you’re most likely to find at juice vendors would be the cold variety.

Hibiscus and Tamarind

Best friends: Hibiscus on the left and Tamarind on the right.

5. Tamrhindi (Tamarind Juice):

Twin to Hibiscus, you will often find both of them being served at dinners in a lot of homes in Egypt. It is made pretty much the same way that hibiscus is made; only it is commonly served cold.

6. Qamar Al-Din (Stewed Apricot Juice)

A hit in Ramadan at every dinner table, along with Tamarind and Hibiscus they are the primary cold refreshment in Ramadan after a long day of fasting they are perfect for a boost of sugar and energy. Yummy!

7. Sobia (Coconut with Milk):

A refreshingly cool sweet drink usually found in Ramadan at almost every dinner table. Kids love it. You can also get it year round at most juice shops.

Coconut with Milk.

Sobia - Coconut with Milk, a hit with yungins!

8. Kharoob (Carob Juice)

Like Tamarind only a bit musky and dark and for some reason the best carob juice is found in Alexandria. It is served cold.

9. Sahlab (Orchid – Orchis Mascula):

Basically made out of dried and crushed orchis mascula, other ingredients include sesame seeds, Coconut, sugar, milk, and topped with raisins and nuts. It is very sweet and served hot, best way to warm up nice in the winter. The best Sahlab is usually found at coffee shops. You will not find it at Starbucks though.

Sahlab

Sahlab... Drooling definitely allowed. Photo by Aisha Yusaf.

10. Watermelon Juice / Cantaloupe Juice:
Both very refreshing drinks that are great on a hot summer day. Available when melons are in season.

Cantaloupe Juice (Melon)

Cantaloupe juice, AKA Melon juice.

All the above juices and cocktails, except for the Sahlab which is available at coffee shops, are available at every Juice parlor or shop. The above pictures were taken at Family’s Refreshments (Murattabat Al-‘Aaelat) at 83 Othman Ibn Affan Street, Triumph, Heliopolis, Telephone: +2018.261.0060 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +2018.261.0060 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

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27 Replies to TOP 10 BEVERAGES IN EGYPT

  1. admin says:

    Hi Antony, I will see what new drinks I can add to the list… Cheers.

  2. Antony says:

    Always this is very good. Can you please add new items?
    Best Wishes

  3. admin says:

    You’re welcome!

  4. Tyler says:

    thanks!

  5. admin says:

    You are very welcome.

  6. I love love love sahlab. I had it almost 14 years ago and could never remember what it was called but absolutely loved it and got so addicted to it while living in Egypt. Thank you for this post!

  7. admin says:

    Great to hear that :)

    I’m working on the recipes for all the drinks featured in the article and will post them once they’re ready insha’Allah.

    Great talking to you and you are welcome.

  8. Antony says:

    Dear Islam,
    It was very nice. Thanks a lot. Keep in touch. I shall check with you for any other interesting recipe.
    Best Regards
    Antony

  9. admin says:

    You’re welcome Antony, I’ll be waiting to hear how it came out :)

  10. Antony says:

    Thank you very much for your efforts. Let me make it and will keep you informed the comments.
    Best Regards
    Antony

  11. admin says:

    After much searching, I think I found the simplest recipe – http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080312042905AAj2M9k, there are lots of recipes out there, most of them will end up being a rice pudding type dish not a drink at all, and there’s the Saudi version that has barley in it. I haven’t tried it yet, so bottoms up and good luck :)

    Egyptian Sobia

    Ingredients:
    1 cup grated coconut
    1 ltr milk
    1/4 kilo sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    1/2 cup rice starch
    Directions:
    Soak coconut in milk for 1 hour, add sugar, vanilla, and rice starch and blend in blender! Serve chilled. Enjoy.

  12. Antony says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am still looking for the recipe for Sobia (Coconut Milk) Drink. Please help me out for this.

  13. admin says:

    Hey Antony, best regards to you too…

    Some of these juices you can make at home and all you will need are the simple ingredients involved in it and a blender, so if you want to make “Mowz bil-Laban (Banana with Milk) / Jawafa bil-Laban (Guava with Milk)” then all you will need is the Guava/Banana and the milk and maybe some sugar or honey to taste. The Qasab needs a specialized custom made juicer. The Sahlab can be found in ready made mixes in some stores, all you need is add milk to the mixture according to the directions, but I will try to get you the recipe for it if you would like to make it from scratch.

    I have gotten several requests asking how to make these juices, so here’s what I will do; I will prepare the recipes make sure they work well, then post them all in one post insha’Allah.

    Cheers :)

  14. Antony says:

    How can I get the receipe for these juices?
    Best Regards
    Antony

  15. admin says:

    Wa Alaykom Assalam Wa Rahmat Allah Layali :)

    Thank you very much for your compliment, I am glad you liked the post :)

    There are several places where you can enjoy these drinks, some better than others. If you are in Mohandiseen area then Farghali on Jami3at Al Dowal Street is the best. If you are in Heliopolis, then the best place would be Al-3a’ilat (العائلات) in Safir. There are lots of fresh juice shops in Egypt. As for the Sahlab, you just have to be in a decent coffee shop, an Egyptian one, not a franchise like Starbucks because they won’t have it, I also don’t think Cilantro would have it.

    I hope this helps, let me know if yo need anything else.

    Best wishes,
    Islam

  16. Layali El Khameesi says:

    Al Salamu Alaykum Islam.
    What a wonderful post!
    I was wondering if you could recommend some shops where we could find these beverages?

    Thank-you.
    Best wishes,
    Layali.

  17. Lipi says:

    Sobia and Faravela were my absolute favorites! I used to see a lot of people have Arkasus and Tamr-el-hind as well :)

  18. admin says:

    You are welcome :)… and thanks for your insight, now I know what to order when visiting Mexico :)

  19. Tlazolteotl says:

    How interesting!
    It turns out that karkadeh has probably been borrowed by the Spaniards from the Arabs during the middle age and made it’s way to Mexico where it is a very popular drink called “agua de Jamaica”.
    I love to drink it ice cold in summer.
    Tamarind and guava juices are also very popular as well as many other tropical fruits.

    Thank you for the insights into egyptian beverages!

  20. admin says:

    It is as you said, I guess I should have mentioned that :). The mirinda hibiscus was not amusing at all, they wanted to bank on the popularity of the drink, but it was short lived.

  21. ibrahim says:

    something worth mentioning about hibiscus tea is that it’s very effective in lowering blood pressure and many egyptian MD’s actually ‘prescribe’ it for hypertension patients.

    in 2009, pepsico. tried to imitate the popular drink by creating a fizzy variation sold under the mirinda brand, i was in egypt at the time when it was debuted in ramadan and the product was a total fiasco and tasted like a cough syrup.. i wonder if they still make it?

  22. admin says:

    Greetings Connie… I bought some from Aswan and got more as a gift from Sudan, can’t get enough of it :)

  23. Connie says:

    when I first came to Egypt in 1977, traveling by car, I had Karkadeh for the first time of my life, in Fayoum.

    I asked “what is this drink?” and got the answer “It is made from flowers”
    I was really impressed what a poetic country!

    Greetings, Connie

  24. admin says:

    You are welcome Aisha, it is a brilliant picture and we are very glad you shared it with us.

  25. Aisha says:

    Thank you so much, Islam, for choosing my image for Sahlab, I’m thrilled to see it here and I’m very happy I could be of help!

    My favourite drinks, other than Sahlab, are Tamrhindi and Qamar Al-Din. Don’t think I’ve had Sobia or Karakadey. Love coconut and hibiscus, so I’m sure I would enjoy these drinks too!

    Sugarcane juice, the 1st time I had it was in India, and yes, it is an awesome way to keep cool!

    Thanks so much for sharing, it’s always interesting and nice to know what are popular in other countries.

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