Sharbat ‘eh Albaloo | Sour Cherry Syrup Drinks – for me and you and even for bears

Sharbat Albaloo sour cherry spritzer Persian drink with bear and flowers شربت آلبالو

There was a bear who hibernated in a cold dark cave all through winter, sleeping soundly and soundlessly, all the while dreaming of sunshine and delicious things. Deep in her slumber in the belly of the cave, she once dreamed of basking in the golden rays of summer light with wildflowers in her hair sipping delicious crimson-colored sour cherry sharbat. The dream felt so real and so deep was the desire that the bear woke with a start only to find her contemplation of the bold bright red color of sour cherries was merely a haunting chimera in the empty pitch black darkness of the cave that was her crib nestled in the stark white and gray palette of the winter howling outside. With a sigh she fell back to sleep — waiting and wishing for summer and spring.

It was spring when she stirred awake again. The bear stretched her limbs, left the cave, and twirled in the daylight — dazzled with life and light. The very hungry bear craved many things and so the bear ate and ate and ate. Oh, this bear meant to make up for the winter-past and the winter that was to come — not losing sight of the deprived pang of her frosty midnight yearning for the luscious tart redness of sour cherries and the sweet elixir of sour cherry sharbat.

Come early summer time, sour cherry trees in the orchards proudly bore their pretty fruit. The bear ate her fill! Munching fistfuls and spitting the stony pits with glee. And she made sour cherry syrup (as was her wont and custom as a Persian bear) so that all summer long, she could make ruby-hued sharbet ‘eh albaloo sour cherry drinks and spritzers to sip and sip. For herself. For her friends. To murmur with pleasure. To keep all thoughts of winter at bay.

Pitcher and glass with ice and sour cherry syrup (sharbat 'e albaloo - Persian beverage drink) on lace doily tablecloth still life with food

Pitcher and glass with ice and sour cherry syrup (sharbat 'e albaloo - Persian beverage drink) on lace doily tablecloth still life with food

Sharbat Albaloo sour cherry spritzer Persian drink with bear and flowers شربت آلبالو on doily lace table cloth with a stuffed animal bear still life with food Persian food blog

To bottle your own Persian sour cherry syrup and make pretty and delicious sharbat ‘e albaloo drinks to nurse and sip all summer long,

Here’s how to make sour cherry sharbat:

Ingredients graphic icon illustration black and white

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen sour cherries
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • A bottle of sparkling water (optional)

Direction graphic icon illustration black and white


  1. Wash the cherries and remove the stems.
  2. Mix sugar and water in a big pot and boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sour cherries.
  4. Bring to a gentle boil (small bubbles), lower heat, and simmer the mixture for up to 20 minutes until the syrup thickens. (During this step, I like to press the sour cherries with a wooden spoon to release as much of their juice as possible.)
  5. Remove pot from heat and allow to cool.
  6. Using a meshed colander, strain syrup into a big bowl. (You can use the left over cherries – after removing the pits –  as toppings on ice cream or yogurt or a parfait.)
  7. Pour syrup into a sterilized, dry, airtight bottle.

Serving Ing graphic icon illustration black and white

In a glass (for individual serving) or in a pitcher (for a group) mix syrup, water (flat or sparkling) and ice cubes. Stir and serve well chilled.

How much syrup and how much water? The general consensus is 1 part syrup for 3 parts water, but in my opinion, play with the proportions to find what flavor and color suits your tastes the best. Personally, I like my sharbat on the more diluted side with just a hint of color.

The bear likes hers with a deep robust color and on the sweet side.

Sharbat Albaloo sour cherry spritzer Persian drink with bear and flowers شربت آلبالو on doily lace table cloth with a stuffed animal bear still life with food Persian food blog


Eat it. Enjoy it. And as they say in Farsi: Noosheh Jaan!

36 thoughts on “Sharbat ‘eh Albaloo | Sour Cherry Syrup Drinks – for me and you and even for bears

    • It really is the quintessential Persian summer drink, isn’t it? You should try it as a spritzer (with sparkling water) too if you haven’t. I think it’s really good that way as well.

      And, oh: Thank you for visiting and commenting. 🙂

    • Suzanne, sharbats are the best. You know, you could use the same recipe and make a cherry sharbat instead. I would recommend adding 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice once the syrup is cooling to just balance out the sweetness a bit.

  1. 1st of all may I say how much I like your blog & navigating through it? It is like a treasure box that every time you open it a new thing pops up & draws your attention.
    And about today’s. YES. Mouth watering & nostalgique.
    Me 2 theunmanlychef. ALWAYS. Albaloo is one of my favorites in ALL things, best of all البالو خوشگه (Dried ones). Too bad what we are able to find here NEVER tastes the same in my opinion. Azita joon while in Iran did you try some? Were they even in season? How about the dried ones?
    Have a wonderful week.

    • Well, you are then reciprocating fully because your comment is equally a treasure box that is just making me smile and smile. Thank you!

      I DID try both lavashak ‘eh albaloo and dried albaloo when in Iran. Nemikham dahanet ro ab bendazam but I must say: both were amazingly delicious. Jat khalli!

    • Ha ha, thank you Tina joon, glad you didn’t think it was dorky and silly and Tina, definitely get yourself some sharbateh albaloo, it’s a wonderful drink

  2. I was pretty surprised by the bear photos on Facebook. What? My Azita and stuffed teddies? Then, I read the story. My Azita and teddies. As no one else could. ❤️

  3. Did someone spike that dear bear’s Sharbat? Lovely post Azita and so true that you need to enjoy every moment of the delights that summer brings you! Cherries are such a treat… though unfortunately I’ve never seen Sour Cherries for sale here before.

    • I think sour cherries have many virtues and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are good for gout and speaking of: sorry to hear you have to deal with that and best wishes in your treatment. Ideally, sour cherry sharbat could be a delicious part of the cure!

    • It’s bad form to enjoy one’s own jokes I know but I have to say it tickles me too! 🙂

      Thank you for visiting & commenting Mary Frances!

  4. Azita jaan, Sharbate Albalooooo! Lots of memories of ‘summers of Iran’.
    Since leaving Iran over 40 yrs ago, I have not seen fresh albaloo. Where does one obtain frozen ones? Since it is the season, I am posting albaloo polo in the next couple weeks. I am using preserved ones (morabba). Dige chekar konam? If you are planning to post the pol too, with fresh ones, that will be great, there will be both versions. 😀 )))

    • Hi dear Fae! My folks get fresh ones from an orchard in the DC area and then my mom freezes a few batches. So I’m not sure actually if frozen ones are widely available.

      Using preserved ones for the polo sounds like a great solution! I’ll have to go check your blog and see if you’ve posted it yet. Look forward to your delicious recipe! 🙂

    • Akh, akh … cherries from one’s own tress in Iran … what a lovely memory. It makes me wistful just reading it.

      Thank you so much for visiting and commenting Sharareh jon!

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  6. Drat! I missed sour cherries season this year. Normally I go picking every year, for jams and stuff. I’m falling apart! Persian bears have very good taste, seems like. But that one right there in the last photo, had a little too much? Hahaha…hilarious! Thanks for the chuckle, love this post so much! ❤

  7. This looks so delicious Azita. Sour cherries are one of my favourite things but for some reason, I’ve never made anything resembling a drink with them! Love the crimson hue of this lovely sharbat. Almost as much as the bear! Xx

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