A Muslim Wedding Tradition – The Sherbet

Food happens to be an intricate part of Muslim wedding traditions. Did you know that since ancient times the Rose Sherbet – a rose flavored refreshing drink, which can be called the soft drink of ancient times in the Middle East was symbolic of a bride’s acceptance of a groom. The bride’s family would server Rose Sherbet to the groom’s family when a marriage was set. It is no wonder that this pink colored beverage was the chosen drink, its color and aroma simply imbues romance and when served in a crystal vessel, it stands elegantly.

Since, then in much of the South Asian Muslim culture and as far as Afghanistan it is customary for the bride and groom to drink Sherbet as part of the wedding rituals. In these countries the famous Sherbet has taken the form of a milk based drink called Badam (Almond) Sherbet, which is infused with rose water and enriched with ground almonds.

Want to incorporate these romantic drinks into your ethnic or multicultural celebration? We have both the recipes for you. Keep in mind that alcoholic beverages are prohibited for Muslim people and you would not see any alcohol at a typical orthodox Muslim wedding. So, these are nonalcoholic beverages, which is a good option for the guests who want to skip the booze at your celebration. These recipes have been modified from lovefoodlifealchemy.com

Rose Sherbet



1 cup rose petals (pink or red). These petals are to be mixed with water

2 lbs. sugar

4 cups water

1 2/3 cups lemon juice

4 cups water


Remove the yellow portion of the petals because they are bitter. Simply snip it off with scissors. Wash the petals under cool running water.

Stuff the petals into a jar.

Pour the lemon juice over the petals. Mix it around a bit with your hand to cover them all, then cover the mouth of the jar with a cheese cloth and tie it tightly. Leave it in a shady spot or in a cupboard for a week. If it is the summer time, 3 days will be enough. During this time, the scent and color of the petals will be transferred to the lemon juice.

Take out half the rose petals and add half of the sugar. Let this mixture sit for another week.

Now add the remaining sugar and the water and mix well. Strain the liquid and bottle it. The syrup should keep a good long while in the fridge.

To make the drink, pour ¼ teaspoon of syrup into a glass, top with water and add ice.


Badam (Almond) Sherbet



2 cups condensed milk

7 cups water

½ cup finely ground almonds

½ tablespoon powdered sugar

2 tablespoons rose water


Combine the milk, water, ground almonds, sugar and rosewater in a blender, and blend until thoroughly mixed and smooth, about 1 minute. Serve over ice.