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25 Apr 2024

Rooh Afza: Beloved Summer Drink

Rooh Afza: Beloved Summer Drink

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Muskaan Jamsheid is a graduate in psychology. She is the project coordinator for HumanKind and also the editor for Invitation Magazine.Outside of work, she enjoys fitness, reading and cooking.

Rooh Afza: Beloved Summer Drink

Rooh Afza is a sweet, aromatic, and refreshing drink that is popular in South Asia for over a century. Its distinct flavour and colour make it the favourite drink among people of all ages, and it is often consumed during hot summer days to beat the heat. This drink is commonly associated with the month of Ramadan, in which families share around the table.

Where did Rooh Afza come from?


Rooh Afza was first introduced in 1907 by Hakeem Hafiz Abdul Majeed, a physician and herbalist from the city of Unnao. The drink was originally marketed as a herbal medicine to treat heatstroke, dehydration, and other ailments during the summer months. However, its sweet taste and refreshing properties soon made it popular among the public.

On a hot summer’s day, Hakeem decided to make a cordial for his patients to refresh and soothe the ailments the heat brought them. The refreshing rose scent wafted out of his clinic, this was also known as “Hamdard” being a companion in times of suffering. This drink was known to intoxicate the public and word spread fast, the crowd had gathered and by nightfall, the first batch had finished. At first, the people were unaware of what was in the ruby red drink. Rooh Afza is just not a thirst quencher in India but in its neighbouring countries as well. During the partition, Hakeems elder son stayed in India, but his younger son migrated to Pakistan. He took Rooh Afza with him by setting a new Hamdard stand in Karachi and there it became the “summer drink of the east”. This thirst-quenching drink travelled beyond India and its neighbouring countries. Now you will find Rooh Afza in the United States, United Kingdom…. Just everywhere!

Rooh Afza is made from a blend of natural ingredients, including fruits, flowers, herbs, and spices. The main ingredients include rose petals, watermelon, mint, and coriander, along with a blend of other herbs and spices. The ingredients are mixed to create a concentrated syrup, which can be diluted with water to create a refreshing drink.

Rooh Afza has several health benefits, including its ability to cool down the body during hot weather. It is also said to improve digestion, boost the immune system, and provide relief from stress and anxiety. Additionally, its natural ingredients make it a healthier alternative to sugary drinks.

Rooh Afza has become a cultural icon in South Asia and is often used in a variety of recipes and desserts. It is commonly used to flavour milkshakes, smoothies, and ice creams and in traditional sweets like falooda and kulfi. In addition, it is a popular ingredient in mocktails, adding a unique flavour and colour to the drinks.

Rooh Afza is widely available in South Asia and can be found in most grocery stores and supermarkets. It is also exported to several countries around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. The drink has gained a loyal following among people of South Asian descent living abroad, who often use it to connect with their cultural heritage.

Why Is Rooh Afza A Popular Drink During Ramadan

Beats Dehydration:
Rooh Afza contains many cooling minerals like sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulphur and phosphorous, which regulate the water balance in the body and keep it hydrated, especially after a full day without food or water.

Supplies Energy
Rooh Afza concentration boasts of tremendous amounts of carbohydrates and sugar, which refuels the body with all the energy lost during the long fasting period.

Improves Digestion
Staying hungry the whole day and eating all at once in the evening may lead to overeating, which may cause indigestion and stomach ache. Rose essence makes sure that the food eaten is broken down and digested easily.

Rooh Afza is a delicious and refreshing drink that has a rich history and cultural significance in South Asia. Its unique flavour and health benefits make it a popular choice among people of all ages, and it has become a symbol of summer in the region. Whether consumed as a drink or used as an ingredient in recipes, Rooh Afza is a beloved part of South Asian cuisine and culture.

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