Rooh Afza: My New Favorite Bar Ingredient

Categories: Last Call

roohafza-grence.jpg
JK Grence

When I need some kitchen or bar inspiration, one of my favorite things to do is head to an international grocery store. With such a dazzling array of unusual ingredients at my beck and call, I'm sure to find something to kick myself out of whatever rut I might be in.

One particular ingredient that I recently found is Rooh Afza. It's a beverage syrup that comes from India and Pakistan. The flavor is distinctly floral, specifically a very sweet rose flavor.

The traditional preparation (at least, according to the bottle) is to mix it with milk. For much of the summer, I've been content to mix it with sparkling water to make a delicious (if somewhat unusual) soda flavor.

On a recent restocking run, a nice lady spied the bottle in my cart and asked where in the store I found it. After I told her the location, we chatted a bit about how we enjoy it. She told me that she loves it with tequila.

Well, of course. How the hell didn't I think of that?

It turns out that the two indeed go together pretty nicely. Blanco tequila's green notes accent Rooh Afza's floral nature. Since there's tequila involved, it's only natural to add some lime. While we're at it, let's throw in a little triple sec and make a rose-flavored margarita!

Since Rooh Afza is a sweet syrup, I like to cut back a little on the triple sec (but not too much), and add an extra hit of lime juice. It's wise to be careful with the amount of Rooh Afza. Get too much in there, and it will go from a pleasant cocktail to tasting like you're drinking old ladies' perfume.

Rose Margarita
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce Rooh Afza syrup
3/4 ounce triple sec
1-1/2 ounces blanco tequila

Shake together with ice. Strain over fresh ice into a salt-rimmed glass.

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13 comments
babypie328
babypie328

Hi, My name is Sonali Shah,  I own Saffron Market in North Scottsdale. I carry this product as well as other great products that would mix well with alcohol to make great drinks. Saffron Market is located at 15689 N Hayden Rd Ste 126 Scottsdale 85260 Across from Party City parking lot. The phone 480-998-0968. Check out Saffronmarketaz.com.
Thanks.

Jennifer Salazar
Jennifer Salazar

Yeah. I love how the article mentions how they found it locally, but fails to say WHERE.

Anindya Sengupta
Anindya Sengupta

Not a big fan - overtly rose-y syrup having a flat sugary taste and without much imagination or depth of character. I much prefer Aam Panna (made from unripe mangoes) for a wonderful and truly unique summer drink- and from what I've heard it can be a very good mixer for cocktails.

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JKGrence
JKGrence

It's at international grocery stores, just like I said in the first paragraph. I've seen it in passing at a few places around town (which is why I didn't specify a location in the article), but when in doubt, if it's a foreign item, you can likely find it at Lee Lee, which is where I happened to snag a bottle of it this time.

JKGrence
JKGrence

If you have an Indian or Middle Eastern grocer near you, try them. When in doubt, for foreign foods, there's always Lee Lee.

babypie328
babypie328

@JKGrence  I am the owner of Saffron Market in North Scottsdale. You can buy it my store. The address is 15689 N Hayden Road Scottsdale 85260. Thanks.


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