Thick & Creamy Vanilla-Pistachio Drink

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This drink is incredibly rich; if you’ve ever had a European hot chocolate, the thickness of this drink will probably remind you of that. But hot chocolate wasn’t my inspiration…I had sahlab in mind!


Sahlab is a starchy powder that’s made from dried orchids; it’s commonly used the Middle East as well as Turkey and Greece to make puddings or thick drinks, which are also called sahlab. These treats are sweetened, flavored with orange blossom water and/or rose water, and commonly garnished with pistachio, coconut, and/or a pinch of cinnamon. (For those who are interested, I have a full recipe for sahlab in my cookbook.)

Thick drinks made from sahlab are enjoyed hot, so they’re especially comforting and perfect for warming up during cold winter months. One chilly afternoon I wanted something warm, and sahlab came to mind…but I was also hungry and wanted something that would hold me over until dinner. This drink was perfect.

It’s very rich, so the small serving size is just right. It’s packed with nutrition; full of vitamins and minerals (from dates!), fiber, protein, and healthy fat, this drink is not only delicious, but healthy and completely satisfying as well.


Thick & Creamy Vanilla-Pistachio Drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 1 serving
  • ¼ cup (40 g) raw, unsalted cashews (see note below)
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pistachio oil (such as Vom Fass Pistachio Oil)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • ½ cup (120 ml) boiling water
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped pistachio, for garnish
  1. Add all ingredients (except the chopped pistachio) to a blender; put the lid on and let it sit for 2 minutes. (If your blender can’t take high temperature, put everything in a heat-safe bowl, cover the bowl, let it sit for 2 minutes, and then carefully pour it into a blender.)
  2. Process until smooth and creamy (be careful, it’s hot!).
  3. Pour into a small mug and sprinkle the pistachio on top; serve hot.
Cashews: Be sure to use raw, unsalted cashews here so their flavor doesn’t overwhelm the flavor of pistachio.

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  1. says

    Wow, sahlab sounds delicious – I love discovering completely new dishes on your blog! This looks like a very comforting and soothing drink.

  2. says

    Faith, this definitely sounds satisfying! I love salep and this one is an amazing alternative to it. You’re so creative! Love the combination! Would be great for breakfast too!

  3. Hana says

    This sounds and looks really delicious! Something totally up my alley. A question though…could you please suggest a substitute for the pistachio oil? I don’t think I can get that over here. Thanks!

    • says

      Hana, You could try this with any kind of nut or seed oil that you like the flavor of (such as hazelnut oil, pumpkin seed oil, etc.), or you could use a nut-flavored flavoring or extract (such as pistachio extract or hazelnut extract). Since the pistachio oil is only there for flavor, you could even skip it if you want; if you do so, maybe try the drink with roasted, unsalted cashews (instead of raw cashews) so the drink has more of a cashew flavor. Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try! :)

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