A Taste of Ramadan
By: Menal Elmaliki / Arab America Contributing Writer
As you are surrounded by colorful lights, the scent of fried samosa waffling in the air, the plethora of sweets, and a glass of vimto layed out before your eyes, simply remind yourself of your blessings and make an effort to cleanse your soul.
Ramadan is the holy month of Muslims, where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. The importance of Ramadan is to self-reflect, to try and become a better version of yourself. It is also a time to gain a closer relationship to God, spend time with family, to understand the pains of hunger, recognize the plights of those who are poor and become more grateful. Ramadan depletes the ego of man as you humble yourself before God. The reality is, it is only when you step inside someones shoes do you finally grasp the pains and woes of those who are under privileged.
Alongside the spiritual aspect of Ramadan, is a time to celebrate with friends and family. To add to the allurement of Ramadan, vimto, a special concoction often drank during Iftar, as the Arabs say, ‘you can’t have Ramadan without vimto.’
Vimto considered the jewel drink in the Middle East and is especially popular in the month of Ramadan, is a great substitute for soda and alcohol. It has a deep Burgundy color, a distinguished flavor that is refined yet delicate, and a texture that is between a juice concentrate and a soda.
The ad goes, want a tasty drink to having during Iftar try vimto. As ramadan approaches the image of Vimto is pervading and inescapable. It is displayed everywhere during this special month, vimto shelves are moved towards the entrance of grocery stores and ads are placed everywhere.
So what’s so special about vimto anyway you might ask.
It symbolizes a “sweet togetherness,” it is the sweetness of this fruity drink combined with the sweetness of togetherness that makes this drink unique. Vimto can be made in various ways, it is often mixed with water and embroidered with lemon slices and fresh mint.
Vimto is famous in the Middle East and has become an icon in pop culture. Despite its prestige and popularity in the Arab world it was actually created and first drank in the UK. Vimto was first produced in Manchester in 1908 and was nicknamed “Vimtonic.”
Surprisingly, Vimto was first created as a herbal tonic and was registered as medicine so how did this once herbal tonic make its way through the sands of the desert. After its soaring popularity, it became mass produced and spread to various parts of the world like India, China, parts of Africa and the Middle East. It was introduced to Saudi Arabia in 1927, since then it has became a staple in Arab pop culture and is the face of Ramadan.
Check out this article to learn more about the history of Vimto.
Try this simple and refreshing vimto recipe.
- One glass of ice
- 1 cup water
- 2-4 tablespoons vimto (of your preference 😉 )
- Lemon slices
- Fresh Mint
- Splash of Rose Water
- Squeeze of Lemon/lime
- Pour water over a cup of ice, add your vimto.
- Add any optional ingredients and mix.
- Garnish your drink with the essentials, lemon and mint.
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