11 Must-Try Turkish Drinks
July 30, 2021
Whether you want to keep warm during winter, hydrate in the height of summer, or boost your energy levels during the day, Turkey has a drink for that particular occasion or season. They are healthy, highly delectable, and refreshing.
If you want to sample a few of these celebrated beverages, here are some that you may not want to forgo.
Turkish coffee is a caffeine-rich brew with robust flavours and a strong aroma. It is made from ground coffee beans, brewed in a special traditional pot called a cezve. It is flavoured with cardamom and served without filtering. The coffee is taken after a meal or when passing the time with friends in the best restaurants.
Turkish tea has a special place in Turkey’s culinary culture. Turks serve it when friends visit, and they take it to keep warm during winter. The tea is a breakfast and teatime staple. Believe it or not, Turkish tea is ever available in offices and homes.
This strong black tea is made from tea leaves and water boiled under medium temperatures for at least 15 minutes. Afterwards, it is served in small tulip-shaped glasses because it is too concentrated to be served in larger cups.
Locally named Lion’s Milk, Raki is a brandy made from distilled grapes. It is taken as a celebratory drink during birthdays, promotions, weddings, commemorations, and other important events.
Turks take Raki brandy with meze, seafood, melon, white cheese, or chilled water to dampen the brandy’s high alcoholic content. It has a liquorice taste, similar to that of many Italian and Greece spirits.
Famed as Turkish Yoghurt, Ayran is made from three basic ingredients—water, yoghurt, and salt. The yoghurt is diluted with water and then flavoured with some salt. After that, the mixture is blended to form a buttermilk drink with a foamy top. It is often served alongside lunch
and or dinner.
A juice with lots of minerals and vitamins, Salgam is a healthy alternative to high-calorie, sugar-loaded drinks. It is prepared from a turnip, violet carrot, beet, pounded wheat, and salt. The drink is served cold, hot, or mild with Adana kebab and pickled carrots. It is also a great chaser for Turkish Raki.
Made from milk, powdered orchid bulb, and sugar, salep is everyone’s favourite winter drink. It boasts a creamy, sweet flavour and an aromatic scent that will make you love it on the first sip. It is best served hot, with a cinnamon garnish.
Apart from its magical taste, Turkish salep soothes coughs, chest congestion, cold, and bronchitis common during the cold season.
Boza is a malt drink made from rice, bulgur, sugar, yeast, and water. It resembles a thick pudding with sweet, slightly acidic flavours. Turks believe that a glass of this non-alcoholic malt warms up your body naturally and that it is no lie. Probably, that is why it is one of the most preferred winter drinks.
Sira is a Turkish summertime favourite. The fermented grape juice is the ideal refreshment to take when chilling indoors or spending time with family and friends. Sira can be extra sweet when fermented slightly and a little bit tangy when fermented for long.
Regardless of the taste, a sip of quality Turkish Sira gives a fizzy and refreshing aftertaste. It is served as an appetizer during special occasions.
Tursu Suyu is prepared from pickled cabbage, carrots, peppers, brine, garlic, cucumbers, beets, onions, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, and other vegetables. It has a salty taste, a bright pink colour, and a tangy kick. It is often served as a refreshment or companion drink for sandwiches, battered rice, pasta, and other cuisines.
The Turkish lemonade is prepared from sugar, lemon juice, and mint leaves. The mixture is blended, strained, and mixed with cold water. Some recipes prepare the Turkish lemonade in a slightly different way. They boil lemon/lime juice and sugar and then mix the sugared juice with clean water.
Traditionally, Sherbet was a drink reserved for Sultans. It is made from rose flowers, fruit, and herb extracts sweetened with sugar and diluted with water. This ultra-refreshing drink is considered a premium drink served cold during weddings, births, circumcisions, and other special events.
A Turkish Drink is Refreshingly Healthy
Turkish drinks aren’t made just to keep you refreshed. They will nourish you with vital minerals and vitamins as well. Thanks to the organic grains, herbs, berries, fruits, and vegetables used in making these much-respected drinks.
Frequently asked questions
What is the popular drink in Turkey?
Turkish strong black tea, locally known as Çay, is the most popular drink in Turkey. Averagely, each Turk consumes 3-5 cups of tea a day. The number of cups doubles during winter. Turkey ranks among the top countries with high tea consumption.
What kind of alcohol is Raki?
It is made of double-distilled anise herb and grape pomace to form a subtly sweet and fruity drink. Raki has an alcohol content of 45%, another reason why it qualifies as brandy.
What kind of tea do the Turkish drink?
While Turks take herbal, green, white, and other tea types, they prefer black tea made from locally grown Rize tea. Rize tea is completely pure as it is free of preservatives, colouring agents, sweeteners, and aromas.
With 45% alcohol content, Turkish Raki is stronger than wine and beer. Its alcohol quantity is similar to that of Vodka. That’s why Turks take it with chilled water, cheese, and plenty of food to dampen the effects of alcohol.
Why is Turkish coffee so strong?
The Turkish version is prepared from high-quality coffee beans, roasted, and ground with meticulous attention. Afterwards, the coffee is slow-boiled in a special pot to yield that distinctively strong flavour and concentration.
Turkish tea is very concentrated. That’s why it is served in small size tulip-shaped glasses instead of large teacups. However, if you feel like the tea is overpowering, you can dilute it with water to the desired strength.
Is Turkish coffee stronger than espresso?
Regarding taste and aroma, Turkish coffee is stronger than espresso since it uses finely ground coffee beans. However, espresso takes the lead when it comes to caffeine content.
Can I add milk to Turkish coffee?
Adding milk to Turkish coffee isn’t recommended. The coffee is better-left plain if at all you wish to preserve its rich flavours.
Is Turkish tea high in caffeine
Turkish tea has low levels of caffeine. It is rich in flavonoids, polyphenols, amino acids, enzymes, and antioxidants. These compounds work synergistically to improve mental health, reduce calcification, and minimize the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
How do you serve Turkish tea?
Turkish tea is served in small glasses with a thin waist. Since the glass lacks a handle, a small-sized plate for holding the glass will always come in handy. The tea is served hot with various Turkish snacks like baklava, borek, and pita bread.
Can you make Turkish coffee without a Cezve?
Traditionally, Turkish coffee had to be made in a cezve. Turks believed that this special brass pot gave coffee that signature froth. However, a Cezve isn’t a must-have. You can use a saucepan or any small size pot to make this Turkish heritage drink.
Why is it called Turkish coffee?
Turkish coffee is called so since it is prepared and served in a special Turkish way. It is brewed in a special pot known as ibrik. It is left to boil under low temperatures till it forms a velvety, froth-crowned brew. When it is ready, this coffee is served unfiltered.