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Ovshala – Rose sherbet

Ovshala - Rose sherbet
Ovshala or rose sherbet is a refreshing drink made from the petals of dark red roses.

An Azerbaijani sherbet (şərbət) is made from fruit, sugar and water. The word sherbet comes from the Persian sharbat, itself an adaptation of the Arabic for drink, sharab. Sherbet entered the English language as sorbet, which is now more of an iced dessert or palate cleanser than a drink. British readers of a certain age will remember the sherbet fountain, a fizzy powder sold in a cardboard tube with a piece of liquorice to suck it through. This is a distant relative of Azerbaijani sherbet, as the powder was originally intended to be mixed with water to create a drink. Azerbaijan has a rich variety of sherbets, one of which is ovshala or rose petal sherbet.

Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 10 hours
Serves: 3-4


  • 100 g/4 oz piece of sugar loaf, or 100 g/4 oz granulated sugar
  • 568 ml/1 pint water
  • the petals of four large dark red roses in full bloom
  • lemon juice
  • ice cubes


  • Pour hot boiled water over the rose petals.
  • Add 1 teaspoonful of lemon juice and leave to infuse for 8 to 10 hours.
  • Strain the infusion, add the sugar and stir well until the sugar dissolves.
  • Leave to cool and pour over ice cubes to serve.

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