1. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lime juice and rose water and cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove the pan from heat and allow to cool. Pour the syrup into a clean, dry bottle; cork tightly.
3. In a pitcher, mix 1 part syrup, 3 parts water, and 2 ice cubes per person. Stir with a spoon and serve well chilled. NUSH-E JAN!
Variations:Saffron Syrup(Sharbat-e Zaferan) Add 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron threads diluted in 2 tablespoons hot water to the rose water.Barberry syrup(Sharbat-e zereshk) Add barberry juice to the rose water syrup above and cook for 5 minutes. Barberry juice can be made from dried barberries by picking over and thoroughly washing 2 cups of barberries. Combine with 4 cups of water and boil for 15 minutes over high heat. Allow to cool and pass through 2 layers of cheesecloth into a bowl.Almond syrup(Sharbat-e badam) Replace rose water with almond milk. To make almond milk puree 2 cups blanched almonds with 3 cups of boiling water in a food processor for 5 minutes, until creamy. Strain the mixture through 2 layers of cheesecloth into a bowl. Reserve the almond milk and discard the solids.Persian musk rose syrup(Sharbat-e nastaran) Replace rose water with musk rose water.Basil-seed syrup(Sharbat-e tokhm-e Sharbaty) Soak 1 cup of basil seeds in 2 cups of water for a few hours, then add soaking seeds to the syrup in Step 2. An excellent syrup, this sharbat is especially associated with the mother of a newborn baby.Mint leaf syrup(Sharbat-e nana) Replace rose water with mint water.Orange blossom syrup(Sharbat-e gol-e bahar narenj) Replace rose water with orange blossom water.Licorice syrup(Sharbat-e lasmo) Replace rose water with licorice water.Palm syrup(Sharbat-e taruneh) Replace rose water with palm water.Willow syrup(Sharbat-e bidmeshk) Replace rose water with willow water.
NOTE:Rose water(suitable for cooking) and most of the distillates (called araqs in Persian) listed here are available in Persian stores (produced by Sadaf or Qortas).
Najmieh Batmanglij shares her tips with Epicurious: Batmanglij recommends buying saffron in thread form rather than powder, which is often adulterated with turmeric. Before they can be used in a recipe, the threads must be ground with a cube of sugar, using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, and then diluted in hot water. The saffron water can then be stored and used as needed, says Batmanglij. Never use the unground threads. Dried barberries, which add a sour flavor to many Persian dishes, are available online . Always buy red barberries, cautions Batmanglij. Black barberries are old. Try experimenting with different distillates in this drink. Musk rose water, made from white Mediterranean roses, gives the sharbat a different flavor than regular rose water, which is made from Persian Damask roses. Willow water is flowery, while palm water has an earthy flavor.