8 Most Popular Turkish Drinks
Drinks are integral to gatherings with friends and family and crowded dining tables in Turkish culture.
Sometimes these drinks even represent a particular type of get-together. For example, making a home visit to a friend or relative is called “going for tea”. “Going to raki” is a term used for eating a meal and drinking raki alfresco with friends, enjoying live music in a bar.
Since they are such fundamental parts of Turkish life, it is not wrong to say that drinks in Turkey have symbolic meanings. Let’s round-up some of the most popular & delicious Turkish drinks.
1. Turkish Black Tea
Turkish black tea from the Black Sea region is some of the best tea in the world.
It has a rich, full-bodied flavor that is perfect for enjoying with friends and family. The tea is grown in the region’s highlands, giving it its unique taste. The tea leaves are picked by hand and then sun-dried, giving the tea its dark color. The tea is then carefully brewed to perfection. When brewed correctly, the tea has a deep, rich flavor that is perfect for enjoying on a cold winterish day.
Although Turkish tea is usually drunk very hot, it is drunk just as much in the summer as the winter. There is even a widespread belief that drinking tea prevents thirst. Tea is the most popular beverage in Turkey, but it does not have a long history in these lands. Turkish tea became everyone’s favorite in just 80 years.
You can see the traces of just how popular it is all over the country. Tea gardens can be found everywhere in Turkey and coffee and tea houses thrive in local neighborhoods. But the real bastion of tea is not the coffee houses, cafes, or the tea gardens. The place where it is consumed the most is at home.
Turkish tea first appears at the breakfast table in a Turkish home, and is usually available right through til dinner time. It is usually drunk from specially produced tulip-shaped glasses, called “ince belli”, and one or two cups per day is never enough. It varies, of course, but there are even people who drink 20-30 cups of tea a day!
Ayran is a refreshing Turkish yogurt drink perfect for a hot summer’s day.
It is made by mixing yogurt, water, and salt and is often served with meals or as a refreshing beverage. Ayran is a healthy and hydrating drink that is perfect for those seeking an alternative to sugary beverages.
It is said to have originated in Central Asia and is now widespread throughout the Turkic world. In Turkey, ayran is often made with homemade Turkish yogurt, which gives it a slightly sour taste. The drink is low in calories and fat and is a good source of calcium and protein.
Ayran often accompanies a meal. The sourness or acidity goes well with meat dishes such as kebab and doner. Turks love the drink so much they wonder how ayran is not as popular all over the world, but secretly they are happy to keep such a delicacy to themselves.
3. Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee is prepared using very finely ground coffee beans. The coffee is brewed in a cezve pot and served in small cups called fincan.
The coffee is known for its intense flavor and thick, creamy texture. Its origin is somewhat debated as some believe it originated in Turkey, while others think it originated in Persia. There is no definitive answer. But what is known for sure is that Turkish coffee has been around for centuries and is enjoyed by people all over the world.
The coffee is ground very finely, then the coffee, water and sugar are mixed in a cezve, and it is left to come to a boil slowly on a low-heat until it forms a thick, creamy foam. First, the foam is divided into small cups with a spoon, then the coffee is poured into fincans and served with a glass of water on the side. It is essential to drink plenty of water after drinking Turkish coffee. This is because of the strong taste of the coffee, but there are other suggestions why this is so.
One suggestion is that you can tell whether a guest is hungry or not by how they drink the coffee and water they are offered. If their stomach is full, they will drink the coffee first, and if they are hungry, they will drink the water first. Now the host knows to prepared some food to serve, without them having to say a thing.
Turkish coffee is delicious. It is perfect for those who appreciate the strong flavor and creamy texture. If you have never tried Turkish coffee, I highly recommend it.
But I must warn you, it’s not like any other coffee. You may even feel the finely ground coffee beans on your tongue; we call it “telve”. Most of these are left in the coffee cup and, if you put your saucer on the top of the cup once you’ve finished your coffee, turn it upside down and leave it to cool, you can read your fortune in the beautiful patterns the telve create.
4. Şalgam Juice
Şalgam is a type of fermented drink popular in Turkey and the surrounding countries. It is made from black carrots and turnips that are peeled, sliced, and then left to ferment in a mixture of water and lemon salt.
The resulting drink is slightly sour and salty and has a strong umami flavor. It comes in both spicy and non-spicy options.
Thanks to the vitamins A, B, C, and K, calcium, and potassium, it is very beneficial for heart, eye, bone, and dental health and is very effective in removing toxins from the body. Delicious and nutritious, this drink is primarily served with kebabs. It is an excellent meal complement.
Turkish salep is a drink made from orchid roots. It is traditionally served hot and is particularly popular in the winter months. There are many different ways to make salep, but the most common recipe includes salep powder, milk, water, sugar, and spices such as cinnamon and cloves.
The salep powder is made from the tubers in the roots of the salep plant, which are boiled and dried in the sun. After drying, they are pulverized into a powder. The powder is also used as a thickener for Turkish ice cream. And salep the drink is as delicious as ice cream, a creamy version that will warm you up.
Salep is said to have health benefits too. It is good for the respiratory system and is often consumed by those with colds or flu. It is also said to help with digestion and in relieving stomach pain. Turkish salep is a delicious and healthy drink that has many benefits. It is perfect for warming up on a cold winter day and will surely leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Turkish boza is a fermented drink made from wheat, barley, millet, or maize. It has a thick, creamy consistency and a slightly sour taste. Boza has been made in Turkey for centuries and is thought to have originated in Central Asia.
Nowadays, boza is available year-round but is still most commonly consumed in the winter. It is served with cinnamon or yellow roasted chickpeas in boza shops in İstanbul and Eskişehir, cities famous for their boza.
Boza is a nutritious drink and is high in protein and vitamins. It is said to have many health benefits, including aiding digestion and boosting immunity.
If you are visiting İstanbul in the winter, keep an ear out for the boza vendors on the streets shouting “Bozaaaaccı” after dark. They sell the most authentic boza drinking experience; believe me, it is the most enjoyable way to have this delicacy.
Turkish sherbet is a refreshing drink made from fruits, herb leaves, water, and sugar. It is typically served cold and is a popular choice during the hot summer months. Fruits such as grape, pomegranate, cranberry, black mulberry, and sour cherry can also be used. Rose petals and orange blossom are some of the ingredients used in Turkish sherbets.
Turkish sherbet is a healthy drink option as it is made from natural ingredients and is low in calories. It is also a hydrating drink, which is vital during the summer months when we are more prone to dehydration.
Whether you are looking for a refreshing drink to cool down on a hot day or you want to enjoy a healthy and delicious beverage, Turkish sherbet is a great choice.
Reyhan şerbeti, one of the most widely consumed sherbets, is a traditional Turkish drink made from the leaves of the purple basil called “reyhan.” It is pink in color and has a very sweet taste. Reyhan şerbeti is usually served after a meal and is believed to have many health benefits.
It is said to be good for digestion and helps calm nerves. It is also thought to be a good blood purifier. It has been made in Turkey for centuries and is still very popular today. If you are ever in Turkey, be sure to try this delicious and refreshing drink!
Raki is a traditional Turkish alcoholic beverage made from grapes and anise. It is often referred to as “the national drink of Turkey”.
It is usually served with mezes, small dishes served as appetizers, or side dishes. Raki tables are a common sight in Turkish restaurants and homes. They typically consist of a selection of mezes, including various salads, spreads, and dips, as well as breads and cheeses.
Raki is a distilled beverage with typically around 40% alcohol by volume and is usually drunk diluted with water in long, thin glasses. When mixed with water, its transparent color turns milky white, giving it the knickname lion’s milk.
Raki is a strong drink and it is essential to pace yourself when drinking it. It is not uncommon for people to get up from a raki table feeling dizzy and unsteady on their feet. Do not hesitate to try if you are ever in a Turkish restaurant or home and are offered a raki table.
Related: Most Popular Turkish Foods
Related: Most Popular Turkish Desserts