Welcome to Ragnar's Drink of the month club.
In this month's issue we will discuss a couple of non-alcholic period drinks.

The first of these is Sekanjabin, the following quote is from Cariadoc's miscelleny:

"This is the only recipie in the Miscelleny that is based on a modern source: A BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD, by Claudia Roden. Sekanjabin is a period drink; it is mentioned in the FIHRIST of Al-Nadim, which was written in the tenth century. The only period recipie I have found for it (in the Andalusian cookbook) is called "Sakanjabin Simple" and omits the mint. It is one of a large variety of similar drinks described in that cookbook -- flavoured sryups intended to be diluted in either hot or cold water before drinking.

Dissolve 4 cups sugar in 2 1/2 cups of water; when it comes to a boil add 1 cup wine vinegar. Simmer 1/2 hour. Add a handful of mint, remove from fire, let cool. Dilute the resulting syrup to taste with ice water (5 to 10 parts water to 1 part syrup). The syrup stores without refrigeration.

Syrup of Pomegranate (from the Andalusian cookbook p.277)

Take one pound of sour pomegranates and another of sweet and mix them with two pounds of sugar, and cook them to a syrup and watch it until the moment when it is necessary.

Use equal volumes of sugar and pomegranate juice (found in some health food stores). Cook them down to a thick syrup, in which form they will keep, without refrigeration, for a very long time. To serve, dilute one part of syrup in 3 to 6 parts of hot water (to taste).

Syrup of Lemon (from the Andalusian cookbook p.279)

Take lemon, after peeling off the outer peel, squeeze it and combine a pund of the juice with an equal amount of sugar; cook it until it takes the form of a syrup.

This we also serve as a strong, hot drink. Alternatively, dilute it in cold water and you have thirteenth century lemonade. All three of the original recipies include comments on the medical uses of the syrups."

All three of the above drinks can be a big help when packing for camping events. The syrups don't go bad and they are much easier to carry than made up jugs of cool-aid.

Next month we will begin looking at some period (and maybe not-period) alcholic drinks.