Ramadan Recipes

VIDEO Recipe: Nothing says Ramadan iftar quite like Vimto, even for dessert

This cold after-meal treat puts a sweet twist on the Vimto tradition.

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In the Gulf, nothing says “Ramadan iftar” quite like Vimto, the berry cordial drink found on nearly every family’s table each sunset.  


Vimto was first manufactured as a health tonic in the United Kingdom way back in 1908, and has dominated the Ramadan drinks market in the Gulf region for more than eight decades.  According to the Arab News, more than 50 million bottles of Vimto are sold in the Kingdom every year—with three-fourths of that sold in Ramadan alone.


This cold dessert is a twist on the Vimto tradition, using a concentrated Vimto-based syrup on top of layers of cream filling and digestive biscuits.  Served in individual dishes, it is a treat for the entire family.  


It has quickly become our family’s tradition when we host guests for iftar, and my husband always asks me to make an extra serving for his iftar the next day!




Cream Filling

2 envelopes Dream Whip

½ cup milk (cold)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 can thick cream (qishta)


Vimto Sauce

1 cup water (room temperature)

½ cup Vimto cordial drink

2 tbsp corn starch


Biscuit Crust

Digestive biscuits

1 bowl milk (cold)


  • Mix all of the Vimto Sauce ingredients together in a saucepan, then cook over low heat and stir constantly until thickened. Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap, placing the wrap directly onto the sauce to prevent a skin from forming.  Allow to cool at room temperature.
  • Combine all of the ingredients for the Cream Filling except for the cream in a stand mixer, mix at high speed for five minutes. Add the cream, mix to combine, then place the bowl in the freezer to chill—roughly 30 minutes.
  • Place a spoon of the chilled Cream Filling in the bottom of a parfait dish, trifle dish or ramekin, then dip a biscuit into the bowl of milk, covering each side.  Place biscuit on top of the cream in the dish or ramekin.
  • Add spoonfuls of Cream Filling to cover the biscuit.
  • Repeat layers until dish is two-thirds full, ending with a layer of Cream Filling.
  • Pour the cooled Vimto Sauce on top, until the Cream Filling layer is covered.
  • Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least four hours, or overnight.
  • Garnish with fresh berries or mint leaves if desired.
  • Serves 4-6, depending on the size of the individual serving dish.

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