Rooh Afza: Mashroob-e-Mashriq

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By Saira Hussain

For most of the people in Pakistan, ‘sharbat’ means RoohAfza. It has become a generic name for the product category of ‘lal sharbats’.The drink was introduced as the ‘drink of the east’ and was formulated by Hakeem Abdul Majeed in India in 1906. Over the years, RoohAfza has gained more popularity and has become a part of any Pakistani’s grocery list. 

RoohAfza is lot more than just a refreshing beverage. It is a blend of pure sparkling sugar, refined natural extracts of citrus flowers, fruits, vegetables and soothing herbal ingredients.The drink is known for enhancing the spirit and uplifting the soul just the fragrance and the color of RoohAfza makes you feel enthralled.

Many other drinks were introduced in the early 80s like Jam-e-Shireen, Naurus etc. They gave RoohAfza real competition but still the original mashroob managed to pull through.

The uses of this product are numerous, especially in the month of Ramadan people enjoy the festivities of iftaar with lemon RoohAfza, doodh RoohAfza (milkshake) and desserts drizzled with it. Sales of RoohAfza, during this particular month, increase fourfold. The red drink has a well-known connection with the month of Ramadan.

Some people suggest it is due to their marketing strategy whereas for others it is an inherited traditional requirement and the most desired liquid refreshment item during this month. From fancy restaurants to local roadside cafes, RoohAfza is served and enjoyed by all during the entire year.