Izmir Sherbet (Şerbeti)

In the book ‘İzmir Şerbetleri – Kentin Lezzet Hikayeleri (Flavours of the City)‘ written by Sibel Önbaş, published by Paprirus Publications (ISBN: 978-625-7808-35-4, Turkish language only), Sibel Önbaş researches forgotten sherbets from the districts of İzmir. The book includes the history, social references and recipes of local sherbets and aims to revive the culture of regional sherbet making and offer a natural alternative to commercial carbonated beverages. Sibel Önbaş, is the Founder of the Izmir Culinary Culture Association and Corporate Communications Manager of the Köstem Olive Oil Museum on the old Çeşme-Izmir road.

İzmir Sherbet Recipes

Below are a couple of traditional İzmir Sherbet recipes taken from ‘İzmir Şerbetleri – Kentin Lezzet Hikayeleri’:

Tamarind Sherbet

History: The Turkish author, poet and playwright, and resident of Izmir Halid Ziya Uşaklıgil (1860-1945), wrote of tamarind sherbet that it “was one of the characteristics of Izmir” and has left its mark as the “Izmir Sherbet” in the memories of the people of Izmir. Sherbet maker Kadir Aga’s “Haniya Tamarind Sherbet” is mentioned. Politician and writer Ahmet Rasim (1864-1932) stressed that “the mobile tamarind sellers went from Istanbul to Izmir.” Tamarind, which originated in Africa, is a plant species grown in many tropical countries, especially in India and Egypt. The benefits of tamarind are thought to include the production of blood, the restoration of energy, and in treatment of intestinal issues. The flowers are found in yellow or reddish clusters at the ends of the branches. Tamarind sherbet is one of the most well-known sherbets in the 600-year history of Ottoman cuisine.


  • Tamarind (100g)
  • Water (1 litre)
  • Cloves (2 pieces)
  • Cinnamon (1 stick)
  • Granulated Sugar (half glass ≈175g)
  • Honey (1 tablespoon)
  • Sage (2 sprigs, dried or fresh)
  • Linden flower (1 pinch, dried)
  • Ginger (1 small piece, fresh chopped)


(1) Clean the shell from the tamarind and place it in a pot with 1 litre of water to soak overnight.

(2) Add to the tamarind in pot the cloves, cinnamon stick, sugar, honey, sage, linden and chopped ginger.

(3) Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 1 hour.

(4) Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Once cooled, filter and pour into a jug discarding the tamarind, spices & herbs.

(5) Keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours before serving.