10 Popular Drinks in Turkey
Turkish drinks are some of the most popular drinks in the world. They have existed for centuries and can be found far beyond the borders of Turkey.
They help people get through a hot summer day or stay warm and healthy in the winter, but more importantly, Turkish people love them because they're delicious!
Traditional Turkish drinks make up a large part of the country's culture and lifestyle, and there are many different types of drinks to suit all tastes. In this blog post, we will discover 10 popular Turkish drinks that will make your mouth water! We will also talk about how Turkish drinks are made and drunk. So get ready for an in-depth guide on these popular drinks.
1. Turkish Coffee
In 1517, the Ottoman Turks conquered a small Yemeni town called Mocha and took the coffee beans home from there. They didn't realize that this was the beginning of an empire's favorite beverage!
Unlike many other types of coffee, Turkish coffee is cooked by boiling, brewing, or mixing with hot water. It is customary to consume coffee after meals or when guests come to a Turkish house.
Turkish coffee has a strong flavor and is usually served in espresso-sized cups. It is a common tradition in Turkey to serve Turkish delight or a small piece of chocolate with it.
2. Turkish Tea
Tea was not a popular beverage in Turkey until the 1950s when coffee bean prices skyrocketed during the Second World War. Turkish people were addicted to caffeine and because they needed an alternative, they turned to black tea, which can be grown in Turkey and has high caffeine content.
Turkey is currently the country with the highest tea consumption worldwide, with 3.2 kg consumed per capita each year.
Turkish tea is usually served in glass glasses and is consumed throughout the day.
The redder, more caffeinated, and steeper the tea is, the better. This red and strong hue is called “rabbit blood,” the perfect word to confirm before sipping tea!
Ayran is a refreshing yogurt-based beverage unique to Turkey. This chilled, salty and slightly sour drink has been around for centuries and is a traditional way to beat the heat.
Ayran is a popular beverage in Turkey as it pairs well with many Turkish dishes, including meat dishes, kebabs, pancakes, börek, lahmacun, and pide.
You can find packaged ayran in almost every restaurant in Turkey, but the best places to get this authentic Turkish drink are where they serve homemade sparkling glasses of this drink! Buttermilk usually means homemade buttermilk.
You can make ayran with any yogurt you have at home. Mix the yogurt and salt together, then gradually add water until you get the right consistency.
Boza is one of the oldest Turkish beverages and is a fermented beverage made from grains such as millet, barley, wheat or corn. It is mostly consumed in the winter months because it is a densely structured beverage and has a sour taste. Served with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas.
Traditional Turkish boza is made with millet semolina, water, and sugar. Because it is rich in probiotics and lactic acid, it offers rich nutrients as well as possible health benefits.
Boza is not as easy to find as the other traditional Turkish drinks we've listed so far, but you can find it if you know where to look. Vefa Bozacisi has been serving one of Turkey's best boza in its original shop since 1876.
5. Turnip Juice
Turnip Juice, a valuable drink of Turkish cuisine, is prepared using turnip or purple carrots, bulgur, salt, and yeast.
A common pairing, it is served as a soft drink alongside kebabs, especially in traditional kebab restaurants that serve fat-rich and heavy kebabs.
Turnip juice also makes a strong cocktail popular in Turkey. When mixed with raki, a traditional Turkish alcoholic beverage, an intoxicating mixture is formed.
6. Turkish Raki
Raki, a high-octane alcoholic beverage with a unique anise flavor, is traditionally served in Turkish taverns. It is made from suma (white grape pulp) and anise seeds.
Turkish raki is strong and contains 40-50% alcohol, so it is often diluted with water or ice cubes to make the taste more enjoyable and manageable.
This drink was nicknamed "Lion's Milk" because of its white appearance after mixing with water; because the lion is a common metaphor for a strong and brave person in Turkey.
While enjoying long conversations in Turkey, people drink raki and take part in a unique mezze culture. While not identical, it is similar to raki, Greek ouzo, French pastiche, Italian sambuca, and Middle Eastern arak.
Salep, which is often consumed with cinnamon, especially in winter, is a hot and intense drink made from orchid root powder, milk, and sugar. This traditional Turkish drink requires the tubers of wild orchids (orchid roots also called salep) to be collected underground and ground into powder.
Orchid roots are rich in starch and turn into a thick, custard-like texture when mixed with milk. Salep powder is also the main component of Turkish ice cream, as it provides a dense and chewy texture.
8. Pomegranate Juice
In Turkish mythology, the pomegranate is a symbol of fertility and abundance as well as beauty.
This wonderful fruit can be found in every corner of Turkey and it's not hard to understand why. The refreshing juice from this antioxidant-packed citrus treat has numerous health benefits, from lowering cholesterol levels to eliminating toxins.
Even before you start looking for this tangy yet delicious drink, you will naturally come across many freshly squeezed stands in Istanbul.
9. Mint Lemon
This traditional Turkish drink, Nane Limon, is made by boiling a slice of lemon with dried mint. This powerful winter warmer protects everyone from the cold (according to every mom in Turkey) and has also been shown to help combat seasonal colds.
Fresh black pepper and honey leaves are often added to the drink to make it more effective.
Although it is not a well-known drink for foreigners or tourists, it is one of the most popular drinks of Turkish people in winter.
10. Apple Tea
Apple tea is a rather unusual drink in Turkey that locals have probably never tried and have no idea what it is. But many tourists also claim that it is their favorite Turkish drink.
Apple tea is generally not popular with locals but can be found in hotels and tourist shops.
It is customary in Turkey to offer Turkish black tea to your guests, whether at home or at work, as a sign of hospitality. However, traditional Turkish black tea is quite strong and not always enjoyable for tourists. This has resulted in it being replaced with sweet, flavorful but unconventional apple tea.
One more thing about apple tea that most people don't realize is that it's usually a very sugary artificial apple powder and actually contains no apples at all. However, when this drink is presented to you, do not judge and enjoy.