Posted by: oysterculture | January 23, 2009

I dub thee the Syrian Oyster

Am I the only one that thinks I created the wonderfully refreshing ice tea and lemonade combination know as the Arnold Palmer, only to have someone else claim credit?  I swear I thought of it independently when suffering from the heat and humidity on a sweltering Minnesota day,  (yes, Minnesota gets well above freezing)  I did not have enough of ice tea or lemonade to fill a glass, but combined I made tasty, thirst quinching nirvana.  I had no idea it had a name, let alone the Arnold Palmer.  I mean, really, is that the best they could do.

Ramzy Licorice from Syria

Ramzy Licorice from Syria

After that incident, I’ve decided to stake my claim on a new drink.  But before I proceed, I must regress.  I have a bit of a problem – I LOVE ethnic food stores; love as in a very strong addiction.  I have an insatiable curiousity for new spices and foodstuffs and I am fearless in my purchases (oh, my poor suffering husband), even if I have no idea what I am buying half the time.  The contents of my kitchen cabinets are testament to my adventures.  Case in point,  while visiting my friend, Sepideh in San Diego she took me to a wonderful grocery store/restaurant called the Balboa Market .  She knows well my weakness for  kabobs.  I know that she has impeccable taste in these matters.  We had a wonderful dining experience; the kabobs were magnifique!  Ah, and the market was Aladain’ cave to wander through.  Of course, I did not leave empty handed, among other items, I acquired this box of dried licorice.

I started making essentially tea out of it, putting the dried licorice in a tea ball and letting it “brew” in filtered water.  It is delicious, not the cloying taste of the candy, but more subtle, sweet enough for me not to require sugar.  I also found that mixing it with freshly squeezed lemonade is delightful.  So with this mixture of licorice tea and lemonade – I feel, I discovered (another) new drink, worthy of its own name, and I dub it the Syrian Oyster.  Enjoy!



  1. I thought I invented lemonade and ice tea too! When I was a kid I asked for that at a restaurant and the server said, “you mean an Arnold Palmer?” – I was like, “No, 1/2 lemonade, 1/2 ice tea.” And why did he get the credit? I highly doubt he invented it too. I bet they were drinking that combination in the South for at least a hundred years!

  2. Oh, I love licorice and my dad brought me a little jar of the dried stuff…I think its the same or similar to yours from of all places Pakistan! I had no clue what to do it with it so when its gets a bit warmer I’m going to make myself a Syrian Oyster!

  3. I had the same experience, I was so disappointed that that something I thought was so personal to me was branded and available to everyone. I think what really threw me was that everyone seemed to know of the Arnold Palmer – when were they going to tell me? Arnold claims credit for the drink oh, to be first to market.

  4. I think you’ll like it – very refreshing!

  5. I’m not a big fan of licorice, it has not grown on me. Glad you like the tea though!

  6. Love the tea, its a constant in my fridge in the summer. Licorice, I think is one of thos ingredients that you either like or don’t – no in between. However, if you ever get the urge, you might like it.

  7. […] offer something unique and not previously available.  An example of this approach is the dried liquorice from Syria that I described in an earlier post.  The other option is to take their product but […]

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