In Arabic, ‘maha’ refers to a woman with beautiful eyes, a concept that has inspired artists and poets throughout the Middle East for centuries. You can make the base ahead of time and add the berry ice cubes and garnishes when ready to serve.
- 300 ml pomegranate liqueur
- 300 ml house spiced vodka (see below)
- 300 ml light-bodied, fruity white wine
- 100 ml orange juice
- 200 ml Gazoza soft drink (see Note)
- berry ice cubes (see below), to serve
- orange and lemon wedges, to garnish
House spiced vodka
- 1 x 700 ml bottle vodka
- 4 cinnamon quills
- 1-2 whole star anise
- 6 green cardamom pods, lightly bruised
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
Berry ice cubes
- 500 g frozen mixed berries, thawed
- 40 ml sugar syrup (see Note), or to taste
- 20 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
- 25 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 30 minutes
You’ll need to begin this recipe the day before.
To make the house spiced vodka, add the ingredients to the vodka and allow to steep for at least 24 hours. Strain and discard the spices.
To make the berry ice cubes, process the berries in a food processor until a fine purée. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until set.
To make the drink, combine all of the ingredients, except the ice cubes and garnishes, in a large jug and stir until chilled. Pour into glasses and add a berry ice cube and garnish to each.
• Gazoza is a Greek soft drink available at good supermarkets in the international section or at international grocers. Gazoza is similar to lemonade, but is more acidic than your average Sprite or equivalent and not as sickly sweet. You can substitute San Pellegrino lemonade (not to be confused with the lemon flavour version).
• To make sugar syrup, combine 1 parts water to 1 parts caster sugar in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator.
You’ll find Shane Delia at Maha restaurant.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers.
Diamante jug from Maxwell and Williams. Classic whiskey tumbler from Tomkin. Stainless steel tongues from Cocktail Kingdom.