The Sweet And Tart Apricot Drink That's A Ramadan Staple In The Middle East

The holy month of Ramadan is an important month of fasting for many Muslims, but the food that goes along with Ramadan celebrations is an equally important part of the holiday. Those who participate in Ramadan fast from dawn to sunset during the holy month in order to draw closer to their spirituality and gain empathy for the poor, per Islamic Networks Group. Every day at sunset, Muslims break their fast by taking part in a nightly meal called iftar, which is a chance to connect with friends and family over a hearty, flavorful meal.

Anyone who's ever had the chance to take part in an iftar celebration knows the meal is filled with delicious, traditional Ramadan dishes such as lentil soup, biryani, and rice pudding. Flavorful drinks are also an integral part of iftar celebrations, including one that has been receiving a lot of mainstream attention. Made from dried apricot paste, Qamar Al-Din is a Middle Eastern Ramadan drink that is described as being sweet with a thick consistency (via Amira's Pantry). Unlike other drinks that may be served at an iftar meal, Qamar Al-Din is not typically found in Middle Eastern homes at other times of the year and is usually reserved exclusively for Ramadan. 

Qamar Al-Din is a staple of Ramadan

Believed to be originally from Syria, Qamar Al-Din's popularity soon spread all over the Middle East and can now be found in the homes of Ramadan participants in many Northern African countries like Egypt and Morocco.

As mentioned above, this sweet drink is made from dried apricot paste, also known as apricot leather. The leather is made from dried apricots that have been melted down with lemon juice and water, blended, and baked until a tough, slightly sticky consistency is achieved, per Amira's Pantry. In addition to Qamar Al-Din, apricot leather can also be used to make a delicious Middle Eastern layered pudding (via But First Chai). 

To make the drink, warm water is used to rehydrate the apricot leather. The resulting mixture is then sweetened with sugar and blended until the Qamar Al-Din is thick and smooth (via Kitchn). Next, the drink is poured through a strainer to remove any remaining lumps and added to cups of cold water, and stirred to create the perfect addition to any post-fast celebration.