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11 TOP Persian Drinks (Hot & Cold: Chai, Doogh,..)
Artin Travel > Blog > 11 TOP Persian Drinks (Hot & Cold: Chai, Doogh,..)



11 BEST Traditional Persian Drinks you must try when traveling to Iran

Iranian people are just as creative with Persian drinks as they are with Persian cuisine. Iranian traditional restaurants as well as Iranian households prepare and serve these traditional drinks in different seasons. Hot or cold, sour or sweet, herbal or fruity. Any traveler in Iran can find at least one type of hot and cold drink that suits their fancy.

You can even visit special places called Sharbat Khane (mostly) in Isfahan and Tehran, which only serve cold traditional Persian drinks. And if hot drinks are up your alley, you may want to drop by a traditional Persian teahouse.

Best Traditional Persian Drinks Artin Travel

Here is the list of the most popular traditional Persian drinks plus their history, variations, and everything else you need to know about them!

Hot Persian Drinks, from Chai to Damnoosh

 Persian Black Tea (Persian Chai Tea)

Drinking black tea in Iran ages back to the Qajar dynasty, and it has since become very popular with people. Persian black tea has a naturally bitter taste, and has dark, almost black-brownish leaves. Tea is mostly harvested in the northern regions of Iran, where the climate has greatly affected the substance, aroma, and flavor of Iranian tea leaves. 

But there is more to Iranian tea than just its unique fragrance and spice. Iranian tea carries a great part of Persian culture and lifestyle.

Tea is More than just a Persian Drink

People of Persia add many spices and treats to their tea sessions. And depending on the time of the day, the treats served with tea and the spices added to their hot steaming mugs are different.

Having morning tea is common among most Persian families, and some even can’t have breakfast without it! A cup of black tea in the morning goes well on Persian taste buds with a cheese and walnut wrap.  Or honey and butter wrap, or fruit jam and cream wrap! You get the idea.

Morning tea is most frequently served black, or with a couple teaspoonfuls of sugar. Other than that, morning tea in Iran is served simple and alongside traditional Persian breakfast.   Each Persian family have their own tea-drinking habits, but most share the morning tea routine.

Other than that, some like to have their tea after lunch, before their afternoon nap, before dinner, or all of the above!

persian black tea chai travelartin.com

The most popular treats served with this Persian drinks

The most popular treats served with this Persian drinks

The most popular treats served with this Persian drink are:

Baklava (best ones found in Yazd and Qazvin)

Date palm fruit (doused in rose water, filled with walnut bits, or garnished with coconut powder)

Persian cakes and cookies (Yazdi cake, Fuman cookie)

Gaz (Isfahan Souvenir)

Sohan (saffron-rosewater brittles)

Qotab (the most popular ones in Yazd)

Halva

Masqati (Shiraz Souvenir)

Noghl

Damnoosh Persian herbal drink travelers must try

Damnoosh (Herbal Persian drinks)

These traditional herbal drinks have many delicious and healthy varieties. Fruits, herbs, and seeds are used to prepare these herbal Persian drinks (Damnoosh). There are more than 50 different Damnoosh blends, and each has its own benefits and unique flavor. 

Damnoosh used to be more of a medical home remedy Persian mamas were fond of. Nowadays, Damnoosh is Persia’s favorite in cold wintery days and lazy evenings. This warm drink is a popular item on every café’s menu, and must definitely be on your list of must-try drinks when traveling to Iran. 

Different people with different tastes in drinks prefer their Damnoosh in various ways. Some like to taste the herbal and earthy flavor of their drinks, and have theirs with no sugar or side-cookies. Some like to keep their harbal Persian drinks organic and natural.

These people sweeten their drinks without sugar and add honey as a natural sweetening substance. Most Iranians, though, favor how the sweet and saffron-y flavor of Nabat goes with herbal Persian drinks. 

Popular Damnoosh Variations in Iran

The listed herbal blends have proven to be best in terms of taste and benefits:

Thyme Damnoosh

  • Dried thyme leaves, steeped and brewed in boiling water in a Persian teapot (on Persian Samovar)

Bitter Orange Damnoosh

  • Dried Bitter orange flowers, steeped and brewed in boiling water in Persian teapot (on Persian Samovar)

Damask Rose Damnoosh

  • Fresh or dried Damask rose petals, same brewing method

Chicory root Damnoosh

  • Dried or fresh Chicory root

Ginger Damnoosh

  • Ginger roots, or powdered dried ginger

Saffron Damnoosh

  • Crushed saffron stigma 

Pennyroyal Damnoosh

  • Fresh pennyroyal flower or leaves, or dried and powdered pennyroyal leaves
cold persian drinks travelers must try in Iran Artin Travel

Cold Persian Drinks, From Doogh to Sharbat

Doogh (Persian Yogurt drink)

This traditional salty drink is a treat for the taste buds. Doogh is a salty yogurt product (usually homemade) mixed with dried herbs and damask rose petals for a more unique flavor.

Iranian cooks even use Doogh as an ingredient in some incredibly tasty traditional foods! Ash Doogh and Ab-Doogh Khiar are two examples of Persian cuisine prepared with Doogh.

Doogh goes well with almost all Iranian foods but the most popular dishes served with Doogh are:

  • Kebab
  • Ghormeh Sabzi
  • Ab Goosht
  • Fish and polo
  • Baghali Polo
  • Zereshk Polo

Gooshfil Doogh

This traditional yogurt Persian drink is even used as a part of the famous and delicious snack of Isfahan city: Gooshfil Doogh!

This is how Isfahan people serve this local snack: Gooshfil, which is a small and bite-sized donut doused in a sugary syrup; is served beside Doogh. The sour-and-sweet flavor that these two create next to each other is an acquired taste, and allegedly very hooking!

Gooshfil Doogh traditional Iranian snack

Herbal distillate Persian drinks (Araghijat)

Drinking herbal distillates as homebrew medical remedies and thirst-quenching drinks during summer is really common in Iran. The people of Persia put the natural taste of these herbal distillates to use, and prepare amazingly refreshing Persian drinks with them.

These herbal distillates taste rather floral and raw, and so they are sweetened with Nabat, honey, or sugar in a glass of cool water. The result is, simply put, addicting.

Iranian herbal drink travelartin.com

There are as many herbal distillates as there are herbs (which are a LOT). Each of these distilled herbal drinks has its own natural and unique flavor. Through experience, Persian families (and restaurants) have learned which one of these Araghijat go well together.

They use that knowledge to make homemade herbal drinks, sweetened and on the rocks, and serve them in summer. These drinks are tantalizingly refreshing and earthy. They keep the natural and raw flavor of herbs while adding a sugary and chilled vibe to it. This makes them a delightful choice for hot summers.

Sharbat, The Persian Drink variety Everyone must try

These traditional herbal Persian drinks are referred to as “Sharbat” in Iran. Sharbat is a general term that describes traditional (and usually cold) Persian drinks. There are a lot of Sharbat varieties in Iran and Araghijat Sharbats are just a small (yet very popular) part of the Sharbat category.

These drinks are the most popular Araghijat Sharbats in the country, and you could even say they are the drink-equivalents of comfort food for Persians! Refreshing and classic, healthy, and tasty.

  • Distilled peppermint Sharbat
  • Distilled fumitory Sharbat
  • Rosewater Sharbat
  • Distilled Thyme Sharbat
  • Distilled pussy willow Sharbat
  • Distilled sour orange Sharbat
  • Distilled dog-rose Sharbat (famous in Shiraz)
Persian cold Sharbat benefits and varities

The image above is of the famous and popular Persian drink: Sekanjebin. You can learn how to make this Iranian Sharbat yourself at home here.

Natural beverages (Another variety of Sharbat drinks)

As you read above, there are a lot of Sharbat varieties in Iran. Unlike Araghijat sharbat, this group of Sharbats is mostly prepared without herbal distilled waters. They instead mix flowers, seeds, fruits, and herbs to make natural, non-alcoholic beverages popularly served in summer. These Persian Drinks are so popular actually, that even street vendors sell the more popular ones during warm seasons.

Here is the list of the most popular Persian Sharbats:

Saffron Sharbat

  • Brewed, crushed saffron flower stigma+ rosewater + sugar

Sekanjebin Sharbat

  • Fresh mint leaves, boiled with sugar until the rich extract of mint is left in the pot + a trace of vinegar

Basil Sharbat

  • The same brewing method as mint leaves is applied to Basil leaves (Purple Basil or Green ones)

Basil seed Sharbat

  • Basil seeds (must soak in water for a couple of hours before being added to other ingredients) + sugar + rosewater

Traditional Persian Drink: FAQ

What are the famous traditional Persian drinks?

Some of the most famous and delicious Persian drinks are Damnoosh (hot Persian herbal drinks), Sharbat (cold Persian drinks, usually sweet, with a lot of alternative ingredients), And Persian Tea.

Are there any alcoholic drinks in Iran?

Drinking and trading alcohol is illegal in Iran, and so officially, there is no alcoholic drink sold in public places in Iran.

Are traditional Persian drinks healthy?

Cold and hot traditional Persian drinks are based on health benefits, as each of them is beneficial to a certain aspect of the human body. There are drinks that benefit the kidney, heart, stomach, nerves, bladder, and more. For every problem, you will surely find a drink combination of use.

Is Doogh the same as Ayran?

They are very similar but some Ayran recipes include sprinkling water, which is not used in the Persian Doogh at all. Aside from this, you could say that the Turkish Ayran is similar to the Persian Doogh (yogurt drink).

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