One of the many street foods you could encounter while roaming Lebanese cities is an all-time favorite special fruit cocktail that is garnished with nuts, ashta cream and honey. There are many variations of the cocktail, and what we’re featuring in this post is what’s referred to as “cocktail shikaf” which translates to “fruit chunks cocktail”.
Anatomy of a “Cocktail Shikaf”:
A typical cocktail shikaf contains freshly cut fruit, a base juice made from freshly blended strawberries, kiwi, or both, raw nuts such as walnuts and/or pistachio, Ashta cream (clotted cream with rose water) and a garnish of honey. Cocktail stores typically stock whatever fruits are in season. If you go in winter, you will encounter more citrus and vitamin-c laden fruits. Summer cocktails feature a wider variety of exotic fruits. A good cocktail will contain at least 5 to 7 different types of fruits including any of the following: banana, kiwi, mango, avocado, orange, tangerine, strawberry, mulberry, apples, pears, pineapple, peach, apricot etc…
Fruit cocktails exist in virtually every culture on earth. What I believe distinguishes this one though and gives it a Lebanese or Middle-Eastern identity is the Ashta, which is clotted cream with rose water. If made with original ingredients, it has an amazing rich cream flavor with subtle rose water aroma.
To get the best results, use only fresh fruits and make the Ashta cream from scratch. You could substitute Ashta with whipped cream but it won’t be as good.
- 5 bananas
- 5 peaches
- 5 kiwis
- 3 apples
- 2 large mangoes
- ½ pineapple
- 3 lbs Strawberries
- 10 tbsp Ashta cream
- ½ cup of raw walnuts
- ½ cup of crushed raw pistachios
- Cut the mangoes, apples, pineapple, kiwis, bananas, peaches and 1 lb of strawberries into 1-inch chunks.
- Add 2 lbs of strawberries to a blender and blend until they turn into a juice.
- Fill each serving cup with fruit chunks, pour the blended strawberries on top until it's filled, add 2 table spoons of Ashta cream, garnish with walnuts, pistachios and honey and serve cold.