In every household of West Bengal Sharbat is a cooler beverage served during hot summers, special occasion etc.. Sharbat is derived from Arabic word 'Sharbah', meaning 'a drink'. According to Babarnama, Babar loved Sharbat very much. Babar introduced Sharbat to India. Sharbat remained a popular beverage of all through the Mughal emperors. Even Jahangir also loved Falooda Sharbat as one of its favourite item in his menu.
Sharbat is a syrup made from fruits and/or extracts of flowers and herbs as well. The syrup is diluted with water and served with ice. In the olden days, the sugar cane juice was boiled and reduced to make cane syrup. The essence called 'Arak' of flowers was added to cane syrup. Choice for flower essence were: Gulab (Rose), Saffron, Gurhal (Hibiscus) , Khus (Vetiver Grass), Kewra (screw-pine).
Sharbat are the preferred beverage for poor and rich, few old & famous Sharbat junctions of Kolkata are :