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Sekanjabin is a beverage originating from the Middle East (I've heard it attributed to both Arabic and Persian sources) in the middle ages, making it period for the SCA. The Greeks apparently called it oxymel. It has a sweet, minty flavor, and is one of the few drinks I feel retains most of its ability to quench thirst when warm.

Often, sekanjabin is made as a syrup which can then be diluted to serve. Here's the recipe I like:

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar (in my experience, the cheap stuff's better for this)
  • fresh mint, as much as you can get, crushed lightly
Bring the water, sugar, and vinegar to a boil and then simmer until reduced appropriately (20 minutes is a good rule-of-thumb). Remove from heat, add the mint and allow to steep for 15 minutes to an hour. Drain syrup into containers for refrigerated storage (glass bottles work well), and dilute somewhere between 8:1 to 15:1 with water to serve.

If you want to do something more with the mint, leave it in the pot when draining, then add a cup of water directly to it. Remove the mint and wring it out over the pot. Put the liquid into a glass and discover you will twitch involuntarily when drinking it.

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