Los Angeles actor Naz Deravian, creator of the food blog Bottom of the Pot, serves this gentle, refreshing drink for Yalda, the Persian winter solstice celebration. Its red hue symbolizes light.
1/2 cup mild honey, such as clover
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup unsweetened cranberry juice, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cardamom pods, cracked open
1 cinnamon stick (3 in.)
1 to 3 teaspoon rose water*
1/2 orange, cut into half moons
1/4 cup firm fresh or frozen cranberries
How to Make It
Put honey and 1/2 cup water in a small pot over medium-high heat and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in orange juice, 1/4 cup cranberry juice, the lemon juice, cardamom, and cinnamon. Simmer 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Strain into a small bowl and let cool.
In a pitcher, combine syrup, remaining 1/2 cup cranberry juice, and the rose water with 4 1/2 cups cold water. Add orange slices and cranberries; stir. Chill at least 3 hours and up to 5.
To serve, add a couple of ice cubes to each glass and pour in sharbat.
*Find rose water at well-stocked grocery stores, Middle Eastern markets, and online. Different brands vary in strength, so start with the smaller amount and taste to see if you like it.