A concentrated drink made of rose petals and water took the nation by storm and became the most loved drink of all time. Rooh Afza is a refreshing ruby red syrup that is a household summer drink that has been popular for ages. The Rose drink has its origin in Mughal culture and became popular in India with the Mughal invasion. Rooh Afza is made of mainly two ingredients Rose Water and kewra.
Rooh Afza or Rose Sherbet is a favored summer drink in India. It's a mandatory welcome drink in summer offered to the guests. Children of all ages love Rooh Afza is an enjoyable treat for them post playing in the sun. Rooh Afza contains certain minerals that keep the body from dehydrating and serves as a great drink during Ramzaan Fasting(Iftari) in summers.
Rooh Afza is a great drink for cardiovascular health and combats digestive issues. It is a cooling and refreshing drink that lower body heat. As it is made of rose petals, it is a low-calorie drink and is overall healthy. Rooh Afza hydrates the body and cools your mind on a hot sunny day. It is a healthy drink that serves many benefits beyond its amazing and refreshing taste.
HISTORY & ORIGIN
Roohafza was introduced by Hakim Hafiz Abdul Majeed, who took inspiration from traditional Unani medicine. He wanted to create a herbal mix of herbs, fruits, rose, and cooling agents that will give heat-stricken North Indian people instant relief. Roohfaza was formulated by Hakim Hafiz Abdul Majeed for the first time in 1906 in Gaziabad and was launched from old Delhi. Mirza Noor Ahmad, an artist, designed the label for the brand bottles.
The company Hamdard, founded by Hamik Hafiz, soon flourished into a broader spectrum of products and still sells some of the prominent products in the market. Other than their star product Roohafaza, Hamdard almond oil, Hamdard Safi, etc., gained a major position in the market.
THE PARTITION STORY
Roohfaza was one such drink that united the nation and was above religion. Roohafza soon became a Ramdaan drink and a staple summer refreshment drink of the North Indians. The 1947 Partition led to the Muslim majority moving toward Pakistan. The family saw it as an expansion opportunity, and the two sons of Hakim Hafiz took the business across the borders.
Hakim Abdul Hamid, the elder son, stayed back in India, and the younger son, Hakim Mohammed Said, moved to Pakistan and established the brand there. He also started another branch of Hamdard company in East Pakistan, which is now Bangladesh. Later, Mohammed Said gifted the Bangladesh company to a local entrepreneur.
The three nations sold the same Rooh Afza without any variation in the taste, and it soon became the most loved drink of the neighboring nations and is also the National drink of Pakistan.
The Rooh Afza Revamp
Rooh Afza in India ruled the market for years without any changes or variants. The new era demanded leverage, and a new line of iconic drinks began to hit the market. The extended line was that of fruit juices and milkshakes and was known as Rooh Afza Fusion.
Pakistan, on the other hand, was fast to adapt to the demand of the changing times and launched the variants much before India. They were low-calorie, carbonated, sugar-free variants known as Rooh Afza go, and the other was a ready-to-drink instant Rooh Afza flavored milk known as Doodh Rooh Afza.
Its original formulation included:
Herbs: Rohit ("khurfa seeds", Portulaca oleracea), chicory, wine-grape raisins (Vitis vinifera), European white lily (Nymphaea alba), blue star water lily (Nymphaea nuchal), lotus (nelumbo), borage and coriander
Fruits: orange, citron, pineapple, apple, berries, strawberry, raspberry, loganberry, blackberry, cherry, Concord grapes, blackcurrant, and watermelon
Vegetables: spinach, carrot, mint, and sponge gourd (Luffa aegyptiaca)
Flowers: rose, kewra (Pandanus fascicularis), lemon and orange
Roots: vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides)
They say that quality is a hard thing to maintain. Later on, this herbal drink became a commercial success and was added with artificial flavors, color, preservatives, and fragrances. It had everything but anything "Natural" and became a bottle of concentrated sugar syrup.
We all have some cool summery memories with this nationally loved drink. This versatile drink was served chilled with ice, added to lassi, added to milkshakes, spread over chuski, and circled on ice cream. Whichever way it was served at your home, we all kids loved and enjoyed sipping this cooling sugary drink.