7 Signature Turkish BeveragesBy SU Magazin / 2022-10-25
Most of the Turkish dishes are from multiple cultures, from the cradle of civilization Mesopotamia to the wild steppe of Central Asia and even as far as the end of the Mediterranean. Turkish drinks are no different either. These beverages are rooted in the country’s rich traditions and a history stretching back thousands of years.
Some will warm you up in the winter months, while others will quench your thirst in the height of summer. These beverages preserve Turkey’s history by using the same ingredients and methods brought thousands of years ago. Here are some traditional Turkish drinks that are like sampling a taste of history on your tongue. This will help you understand how much geographical diversity Turkish cuisine contains today.
Turkish coffee is one of the oldest methods of preparing coffee, and very different from any coffee you can find in the world. It is boiled instead of brewed and ground coffee is not filtered it is served straight from the cezve(pot). The unique taste consists of rich dark coffee with an earthy flavor and the slight bitterness of ground beans. The strong aroma and smell lure you in.
Turkish coffee has an unimaginably long list of cultural nuances in Turkish culture. And every time you drink a fincan(cup) of Turkish coffee you will discover another cultural treasure.
Turkey has the highest tea consumption in the world. We just love it! Comparing to other beverages Turkish tea has a short history of about 100 years. Turkish tea is often served in tulip-shaped glasses and consumed all day long, especially during breakfast.
Contains high amounts of caffeine and is very dark, almost blood-like in color. The taste is quite strong and bitter so it is served with sugar cubes aside. It is available literally everywhere you go. Say yes to every time you offered tea and let's see how many cups you'll end up drinking.
Made by adding water and sugar to yogurt, Ayran is one of the many gifts the Turks have given to the world. If you like yogurt you love Ayran as well. This delicious beverage dates back to 1000 BC, from the nomadic tribes roamed around the steppes of Asia to now today's modern-day Turkey.
Ayran is a healthy and hydrating drink that is perfect for those seeking an alternative to sugary drinks. Perfect in the summer heat and often paired alongside traditional Turkish dishes such as kebabs and pide.
Boza is one of the oldest Turkish drinks, originating in Central Asia. It is a fermented beverage made from grains such as millet, barley, or wheat. It has a thick, creamy consistency and a slightly sour taste. It is served with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas on top and a teaspoon due to its thick texture.
Mostly consumed in winter but can be found in shops every day of the year. There are street vendors selling Boza in winter and shouting “Bozaaccı”. “Bozaaaaccı”. Vefa Bozacisi is the most famous boza shop in Turkey, serving one of the best bozas since 1876 at their original shop.
Raki is the national alcoholic beverage of Turkey. It is often referred to as the national drink of Turkey. Raki tables are where the most intimate emotions, happy or sad, are shared with loved ones accompanied by delicious Turkish mezes.
Raki is made from processing anise and grapes. It is a distilled beverage with typically around 40% alcohol by volume and is usually drunk diluted with water and ice cubes in special raki glasses which are long and thin. When mixed with water, its transparent color turns milky white, giving it the nickname lion’s milk. Do not hesitate to try it but be careful lion's milk might be too strong for a foreigner.
Salep is the go-to winter drink. Salep is served hot and is particularly popular in the winter months. It is a drink made from orchid roots, sugar, milk, and a dash of cinnamon on top for garnish.
Salep powder is very nutritious. That’s why during the Ottoman Empire, Turkish people drank it so much. Now you can get a cup of salep at the majority of coffees in Turkey. It will surely leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Salgam (turnip juice) is a type of fermented drink popular in Turkey. It is made from black carrots and turnips that ferment in a mixture of water and lemon salt. The drink is slightly sour and salty and has a strong flavor. It usually has two different versions; mild and spicy hot.
Often paired with traditional Turkish kebab dishes, salgam juice is also mixed with other alcoholic drinks such as raki as well. Packed with nutritious, this drink with an interesting taste can be found throughout Turkish restaurants and markets.