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15 Popular Turkish Drinks That You Should Not Miss

Turkey is a country located in the Eurasia region. Half of its territory is directly adjacent to Europe, while the rest is on the Asian continent.

Therefore, the combination of these cultures produces various beverage traditions.

Here are 15 Turkish Drinks that you should know.

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15. Şıra

popular turkish drinks
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Şıra or Sira is a Turkish non-alcoholic drink made from lightly fermented grape juice.

It has a sweet taste because it is high in fructose and also has a terracotta color appearance. Often these drinks are served with Kebab, a Turkish dish.

Another version of Şıra is Hardaliye served in the Marmara region. Basically, a Hardaliye is  Şıra that is aromatic with mustard seeds and cherry leaves for approximately 15 days.

Hardaliye is usually served at certain events like an opening menu.

14. Uludağ Gazoz

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image source: Wikimedia

Uludağ Gazoz or commonly called Uludağ is a soft drink from a Turkish producer, Erbak-Uludağ İçecek A.Ş. located in Bursa.

Uludağ Gazoz is a carbonated lemonade drink that is also popular in other countries.

The brand originates from the development of the classic Uludağ Gazoz in 1930.

Besides the lemon flavor, Uludağ Gazoz is also available in a citrus flavor variation called Uludağ Gazoz Orange. Meanwhile, the name Uludağ comes from the name of a mountain in Western Turkey.

13. Turkish wine

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image source: haywines.co.uk

Turkish wine or wine made in the region of the Eurasia continent, Turkey.

You could say that the wine made in that place played an important role in the early history of wine. It may even be one of the first wine-producing regions in the world.

The ampelographers estimate that Turkey is home to at least 600-1200 varieties of native European grape, Vitis vinifera.

So that Turkey is included as the fourth largest wine producer globally. The first commercial wineries were established in 1925.

12. Boza

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Boza, also known as bosa or bozo, is a popular fermented drink made in several parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe, including Turkey.

Boza in Turkey comes from fermented grains, such as maize and wheat. The taste is sweet and slightly sour.

The drink has a thick consistency with a low alcohol content, approximately 1%.

According to the Turkish etymological dictionary, Nişanyan Sözlük, the name comes from Turkish or Persian. It was first recorded in the Turkish Kipchak by Abu Hayyan Al-Gharnati.

11. Efes Beer

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Efes beer is a beer produced by the Efes Beverage Group or Anadolu Efes Biracılık ve Malt Sanayii A.Ş.

Founded in 1950 by the Özilhan and Yazıcı families, the company is Turkey’s largest beer producer with the famous Efes Pilsener brand.

Besides pilsener, some types of beer are Efes Draft, which is made by semi-pasteurized with a fresh taste and is stored for 6 months.

Efes Dark is a caramel-flavored double-roasted malt lager with 6.5% alcohol. There is also a light variant of Efes Light with 3% alcohol.

10. Yayık ayranı

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Yayık ayranı, or what is known as Turkish buttermilk, is a traditional drink produced from the fermentation by-products of making butter, water, and salt.

Traditionally Yayık ayranı is prepared in a ‘tong churn‘ or leather pouch like Kefir.

Although the name is similar, Yayık ayranı is different from Ayran. The drink is produced from sour yogurt mixed with water and salt.

Most of it is made by rural communities for personal consumption, not on an industrial scale.

9. Sharbat

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Sharbat, also known as shorbot, şerbet, or sherbet, is an Iranian drink popular in Turkey and India.

Drinks made from fruits or flower petals have a sweet taste and are often served cold, either thick or thin.

Sharbat is often made from the following ingredients, basil seeds, water from fresh rose petals, sandalwood, bael, hibiscus, lemon, orange, mango, pineapple, fals (Grewia asiatica), and chia seeds.

This drink usually drunk by Muslims when breaking the fast.

8. Lohusa Şerbeti

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Lohusa Şerbeti or Lohusa Sherbet is a traditional Turkish drink made with water, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and red food coloring.

This drink is usually given to women after childbirth. However, currently, Lohusa Şerbeti is also widely consumed by the public.

This sweet-tasting drink means ‘postpartum sherbet’ when translated.

One of the interesting ingredients in it is lohusa sugar, a special type of sugar sold in blocks. Lohusa sugar has a distinctive pink color.

7. Kefir

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Kefir or ‘kephir’ is a fermented milk drink that is somewhat similar to yogurt but made from the kefir grain.

The drink comes from the North Caucasus region, including the northern region of Turkey. Traditionally the drink was made in a goatskin bag.

This drink, which is also popular in Russia, is made by fermentation at room temperature, usually overnight.

The lactose fermentation in this process produces an acidic, carbonated, slightly alcoholic drink with a taste similar to yogurt.

You may like 21 Popular Australian Drinks (Modern & Traditional).

6. Salep

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Salep or also spelled as ‘sahlep‘ or ‘sahlab‘ is flour made from orchid tubers of the Orchis genus including the species Orchis mascula and Orchis militaris.

The flour was consumed as a drink especially in the culinary traditions of the Ottoman Empire.

Its name comes from Arabic ‘سَحْلَب’ which translates to ‘fox testicles‘. This drink was very popular in the territory of the former Ottoman Empire.

Salep is considered a weight gain for young women, especially before marriage.

5. Şalgam

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image source: sabah.com.tr

Şalgam or Şalgam Suyu is a traditional drink originating from the southern region of Turkey, especially from the cities of Adana, Hatay, Tarsus, Mersin, Kahramanmaras, İzmir, and Çukurova region.

Şalgam is made from lactic acid fermentation and can be translated into radish juice.

This purple drink is known to have health benefits because it can reduce the effects of a high-carbohydrate diet.

Şalgam is also often served with the alcoholic rakı, not mixed but in separate glasses that complement each other’s taste.

4. Turkish Tea

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image source: propertyturkey.com

Turkish tea is a popular tea drink throughout Turkey and regions with the Turkish diaspora.

The tea tradition in that country is usually made using two stacked kettles called ‘çaydanlık’, with a strong tea yield or light tea.

Serving Turkish tea is done in small glasses and enjoyed hot. In addition, the glass also serves to show the color density. Turkish tea is often sweetened with added sugar and never mixed with milk.

3. Ayran

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image source: washingtonpost.com

Ayran is a drink made from milk, its name comes from the Proto-Turkish language ‘ajran‘ or ‘ayran‘.

The drink is still of the same type as Doogh, a typical Persian milk drink. Ayran has been promoted as the national drink of Turkey.

Although the original is still the same kind as Doogh who came from ancient Persia, president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claims that Ayran is different from Doogh.

As explained from a Turkish dictionary from the year 1000 AD namely Dīwān ul-Lughat al-Turk.

2. Turkish coffee

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Turkish coffee is a Turkish-style brewing method known as “Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love“.

The oldest coffee making technique in the history of brewing coffee has been around for a long time, from around the 15th century.

This country is indeed among the first countries to recognize coffee, once the plant was discovered in Ethiopia.

There are various histories of coffee’s entry into Turkey, but the most common version relates to the Turkish Ottoman Empire.

1. Rakı

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image source: euronews.com

Raki or rakı is a sweet alcoholic drink that has a taste of fennel and very popular in Turkey and the Balkans.

Rakı is used as an aperitif and is often a side drink for seafood or meze. The alcohol is quite high at 40-50%.

This transparent colored drink is made from Pomace and Aniseed grapes as a flavor.

The term ‘rakı‘ comes from the Arabic word ‘arak‘ which means flute. It is said that the manufacture of this alcoholic drink began in the 14th century AD.

Apart from the combination of European and Asian culture, Turkey’s drinking tradition was heavily influenced by the Ottoman Sultanate with Islamic religious culture.

So, now you can enjoy Turkish Kebab with trying one of several good Turkish drinks.

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