Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
Essays | Recipes | Gallery

God's wrath is His vinegar, mercy His honey.
These two are the basis of every oxymel.
If vinegar overpowers honey, a remedy is spoiled.
The people of the earth poured vinegar on Noah;
the Ocean of Divine Bounty poured sugar.
The Ocean replenished his sugar,
and overpowered the vinegar of the whole world.
An Iranian recipe for a drink known to the ancient Greeks as oxymel. It often serves as a dip for crisp Romaine leaves.
Total time: 2-½+ hours
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Cooling: 2+ hours
4 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup fresh mint leaves, plus 1 sprig per glass

In a heavy pan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then add vinegar and lemon juice and continue boiling until the syrup drips slowly from the end of a cold spoon. Lower the heat, add mint and simmer for 3 more minutes. Strain the syrup into a jar and let it cool. To serve, place an almond at the bottom of a glass, pour in 3 tbsp. of syrup, add ice water and stir. Garnish with a sprig of mint. You may also add a little grated cucumber to the glass.