Purple Basil Sherbet (Reyhan Şerbeti)

Serve ice cold on a hot summers day and its unique spicy-sweet flavour will pack a punch that'll have you revitalised and ready to go. Basil may seem like a strange idea for a cold drink but it's surprisingly addictive and its ever-changing purple tones are rather eye-catching. 



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Category: Desserts, Drinks & Sweet Treats
Cuisine Type Turkish


Turkish Purple Basil Drink

3 Bunches Purple basil
170 Grams Sugar (1 'Su' glass)
0.5 Teaspoon lemon salt/Citric acid) nuggets (Limon Tuzu')
0.5 Stick Cinnamon
2 Whole cloves
3 Litres Boiling water (15 'Su' Glasses)

Purple Basil Sherbet (Reyhan Şerbeti) Directions

  1. Separate the bunches and wash the basil well.
  2. Place into a large mixing bowl along with the other ingredients.
  3. Pour over the just-boiled water, cover and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes or until completely cooled.
  4. Strain the drink from the leaves and pour into decanters/bottles.
  5. Chill and serve cold with ice cubes.

Recipe notes

So far I have discovered three types of 'Reyhan' purple basil here in Tukey. Sweet-ish basil with a very slight clove smell, which seems to have deep all purple leaves, usually a rounder shape but sometimes they appear more spear-like.

Rounder leaves that have a mix of green and purple leaves that smells quite cinnamony.

Pointed mixed leaves that has quite a licoricey smell and has quite a spice bite to it.

All three are great for making Reyhan serbeti but I think the sugar and spice levels need adjusting for each. If I see a mixture in the pazar I like to buy them all for a really kicking drink.

Don't worry if the colour changes each and every time you make the drink this is just part of its appeal.


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