Perhaps the most well-known Filipino tea is salabat or ginger tea! This tea is commonly served during the cold or rainy seasons as a throat-soothing remedy and is widely believed to improve a person’s singing voice.
SALABAT • (suh-luh-BUHT)
Tagálog (Filipino): salabát
From Persian شربت (šarbat) “sharbat”, an Iranian non-alcoholic sweet cool drink popular in West and South Asia made from fruits or flower petals, via Malay serbat (“a hot drink made of ginger, sugar, etc.”). The Persian word comes from Arabic شربة (šarba) “drink”, with the related Arabic word شراب (šarāb) becoming “alcoholic beverage” during the late Middle Ages. Salabat is cognate to the English words sherbet and sorbet.
Salabat – ginger tea
Salábat – block, obstruction
The words differ in pronunciation only by stress (final syllable in salabat, second syllable in salábat).
Iranian Sharbat vs. Filipino Salabat vs. Indonesian Serbat
The Iranian Sharbat is a cold sweet drink prepared from fruits or flower petals mixed with water and sugar. It is also popular in surrounding countries in West and South Asia such as Turkey, India, and the Arab World. Popular Sharbat ingredients include basil seeds, rose water, rose petals, lemon, chia seeds, etc.
The Filipino Salabat is a ginger tea made from thinly sliced ginger boiled for a few minutes in water and added with sugar, honey, calamansi, or other ingredients for added taste. Salabat is usually served during the rainy or cold season as a throat-soothing remedy as well as to improve one’s singing voice.
The Indonesian Serbat is a traditional Indonesian drink made from spices, such as ginger, lemongrass, pepper powder, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom. It is usually served hot or warm when the weather is cold. The sugar used to sweeten this drink is coconut sugar or palm sugar.
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