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Not to be confused with Sorbet.
For the Guantanamo detainee, see Sharbat (Guantanamo detainee 1051). For the "Afghan Girl", see Sharbat Gula.
Two kinds of Iranian sharbat (center and right) along with Iranian tea (left)

Sharbat or sherbet (pronounced [ʃərbət̪]) is a popular West and South Asian drink prepared from fruits or flower petals.[1] It is sweet and usually served chilled. It can be served in concentrate form and eaten with a spoon or diluted with water to create the drink. Popular sharbats are made of one or more of the following: basil seeds, rose water, sandalwood, bael, gurhal (hibiscus), lemon, orange, mango, pineapple, and falsa (grewia asiatica).

Sharbats are common in Indian, Turkish, Iranian, Arab, Afghan, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi homes, and are popularly consumed by Muslims when breaking their daily fast during the month of Ramadan.[2]


A sharbat or shorbot drink made from fruits and herbs

The word Sharbat is from Persian "شربت" "sharbat", and Sherbet is from Turkish "şerbet" "sherbet", both of which in turn come from Arabic شربة "sharba" a drink, from شرب "shariba" to drink. Also called "sorbet", which comes from French "sorbet", from Italian "sorbetto", and in turn from Turkish "şerbet". The word is cognate to syrup in British and American English. Historically it was a cool effervescent or iced fruit soft drink. The meaning, spelling, and pronunciation have fractured between different countries. It is usually spelled "sherbet", but a common corruption changes this to "sherbert".


In the 12th century, Persian book of Zakhireye Khwarazmshahi, Gorgani describes different types of Sharbats in Iran, including Ghoore, Anar, Sekanjebin, etc.

Daber shorbot, a tender coconut drink, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

It was popularised in the Indian subcontinent by Babur, who sent for frequent loads of ice from the Himalayas to make a cool refreshing drink.[3]

In the gardens of the Ottoman Palace, spices and fruits to be used in sherbet were grown under the control of pharmacists and doctors of the Palace.

In Turkey[edit]

Serbetci serves sharbat for the customer

The person responsible for preparing and serving şerbet in Turkey is called a sherbetji (Turkish: şerbetçi).[4] Some serbetci sell sharbat on the street in the traditional way. On their backs they carry a big brass flask with a long nozzle (called an ibrik) and hold glasses in their sash or brass cup-holders. They serve sharbat by bending forward and filling a glass from the nozzle curved over their shoulder.[5] The Şerbetçi family name is derived from this occupation. In rural areas of Eastern Turkey, the groom's family comes to the bride's house after the dowry is agreed upon and brings an ibrik with sharbat for the future bride to drink as a sign of acceptance of the groom.[6]

Give me a sun, I care not how hot, and sherbet, I care not how cool, and my Heaven is as easily made as your Persian's.

— Lord Byron during his visit to Istanbul in 1813[7]

From the Ottoman Empire, the edible form of sharbat also spread into the Balkan area, especially in Romania, where it is known as şerbet.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Molavi, Afshin (2002). Persian Pilgrimages. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 113. ISBN 0-393-05119-6. 
  2. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "The Hindu: Keeping cool". Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  4. ^ The Dervish Lodge. University of California Press. p. 297. 
  5. ^ Pereira, Michael (1968). Istanbul: aspects of a city. Bles. p. 162. 
  6. ^ Korkmaz Erdogdu, Serap (20 April 2012). "Turkish News". Ottoman Fruit Syrups (Şerbet). Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  7. ^ Wilson, Bee (2011). "Scorching hot day? Grab a gola". The Telegraph. 

External links[edit]