Cool answer to hot Ramadan while in Penang

GEORGE TOWN - The Sarsaparilla Sarbet is a must-try for those visiting the Ramadan bazaar in Queen Street here during the fasting month.

The refreshing light yellow juice is known for not only quenching one's thirst but also reducing body heat.

Mee Jawa Claypot owner Syed Nizam Abdullah said the recipe for the drink was handed down by his grandparents.

"We try our best to preserve the recipe and it is definitely a good choice for Muslims who break fast.

"The drink will cool down your body and it is highly recommended, especially during the hot weather that we are experiencing now," he said at his stall at the Ramadan bazaar.

He added that the drink was served with lemon and basil seeds.

"The drink is prepared with Indian sarsaparilla (nannari roots) syrup and no sugar is added.

"It is also very healthy compared to other drinks that are served with sugar or other preservatives," Syed Nizam said, adding that the drinks were only sold during Ramadan.

In the Indian sub-continent, the drink is usually sold during summer when a heatwave hits, as it helps to keep people cool.

Syed Nizam said the sarbet or sherbert drink was usually sold out in about two hours after he opened for business.

"People just keep coming back for more," he added.

The Sarsaparilla Sarbet is sold at RM2 (S$0.70) per packet.

Besides the drink, Syed Nizam also sells chicken rice.