Soumatha (soo-MAH-tha) is a soft drink made from ground sweet and bitter almonds.
Traditionally served at happy occasions, Soumatha is very popular at weddings and engagements because of its distinctive white color.
When I asked around town for a traditional recipe, I was directed to Kyria (Mrs.) Anna Simboura who is famed to make the best Soumatha in our little part of Andros. This is her family recipe passed down for generations.
(Note: Bitter almonds are not sold in the US. Substitute 5-6 drops of almond extract)
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 500 grams almonds (skins removed)
- 60 bitter almonds (see note)
- 1700 grams sugar
- 1700 grams water
- Remove the skins from the almonds by boiling them for a minute or two. The skins will slip easily.
- Dissolve the sugar in half the water and boil until you have a syrup consistency. Set aside. Using a food processor or blender, grind the sweet and bitter almonds into a fine powder. Combine the ground almonds with the remaining water.
- Using a strainer lined with cheesecloth, strain the liquid from the ground almonds and reserve. Kyria Anna passes the ground almonds and water 2 or 3 times through the cheesecloth to extract the most flavor.
- Combine the strained almond liquid with the sugar syrup and heat on the stove, being careful not to allow the mixture to boil.
- To serve, add about an inch of syrup to a tall glass with some ice. Add water and enjoy.