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Traditional Turkish Drinks

What are traditional Turkish drinks

In Turkey we drink a lot, all day long, from salty to sweet, from thick to liquid. We spend our time drinking traditional Turkish drinks. Here is the list of best turkish drinks in Istanbul.

Here is a small range of what you can drink in Istanbul :

Ayran – traditional Turkish drinks

First of the list of best traditional Turkish drinks is Ayran. It is a yoghurt drink very popular in Turkey. It is made up of a third of fresh yogurt and two thirds of slightly salted water. The yogurt can be from cow, sheep or goat milk. Ayran is drunk with everything (pide, lahmacun, kofte) and it can be drunk very fresh at all meals.

Served in a pitcher, by the glass or to take away. It is sold in all restaurants, snacks and supermarkets.

Salgam – traditional Turkish drinks

Second of the list of best traditional Turkish drinks : Salgam juice is made from a particular species of rutabaga, purple or black carrot with a taste close to the beetroot. We add other ingredients (red beets, turnips, flour, chickpeas, yeast) to make “şalgam suyu”, şalgam juice with a salty and acid taste.

Tasting it is a rather special experience. Some people love it, others hate it.

This specialty is from the Adana region (south of Turkey). There are different varieties, more or less spicy. A chili sauce can be diluted by those who like their very spicy şalgam. Traditionally, the preparation begins with the fermentation of wheat, sourdough and water in barrels. When this preparation is sufficiently acidic, cooked purple carrots are added, as well as turnips. After a week, the mixture is salted and left to ferment for about two weeks, until it matures. Then the juice is removed from the barrels, filtered and seasoned.

Salgam juice is ideal to accompany kebabs, spicy dishes and fish sandwiches (balik ekmek). You can get them in Turkish grocery stores or certain large areas in plastic bottle format. It is drunk fresh alone or as an accompaniment to Raki, generally during the mezze tasting. Your turn to try ! It is sold by the glass or in small bottles in almost all restaurants, snacks or grocery stores.

Tursu – traditional Turkish drinks

Third of the list of best traditional Turkish Drinks is Tursu. A mixture of vegetables or condiments of all kinds (pickles, peppers, carrot, turnip, cabbage…) bathed in vinegar juice. It is served in glasses, in many restaurants or by street vendors; in pots or jars at traders who take them home. It is drunk and eaten at the same time, during or between meals as a snack.

For this recipe, you will need jars but large jars of jam may suffice.

Turkish Tea, Cay

Fourth of the list of best Traditional Turkish Drinks : Turkish black tea served very hot in a small glass. It is drunk throughout the day in astronomical quantities. Tea can be drunk “açik” which means diluted with more water than usual for those who do not like it too much.

Tea is truly an institution in Turkey. As soon as you go to someone’s house, the first thing you get is a glass of tea.

Indeed, Turkey is a major producer of tea with around 6% of the world production of black tea, ie around 200,000 tonnes per year. The region of Turkish tea production is the province of Rize located along the Black Sea in the northeast of Turkey.

Obviously you will find Turkish tea in pouches but the vast majority of Turks drink only black tea sold in bulk and prepared according to the traditional method.

To prepare Turkish tea, you will need to have an appropriate teapot. The teapot consists of two parts: the top part contains the tea leaves and the bottom part hot water.

Then in the upper part of the teapot, place the tea leaves and close the lid. In the lower part pour water.

Place the upper part of the teapot on the lower part and bring the water to boil. Once the water in the lower part is muddy, pour the boiling water over the tea in the upper part. Rest the upper part on the lower part and leave on low heat to keep the water very hot. At this time you can add a little water in the lower part if you want to prepare a large amount of tea.

Your Turkish tea is ready to be tasted when the tea leaves in the upper part have fallen. When you pour boiling water over the tea leaves, they rise to the surface. When they fall to the bottom of the upper part of the teapot it is a sign that they have enough brewed and that your Turkish tea will not be harsh.

Pour the tea (top of the teapot) into a tea glass according to your preference (+ or – strong) then add hot water (bottom of the teapot) to dilute if necessary.

Turkish Coffee, Turk Kahvesi

Fifth of the list of best traditional Turkish Drinks is Turkish Coffee. It is a real ritual, who does not drink Turkish Coffee in Turkey? It is drunk in a cup specially designed for tasting this beverage. Prepared in a typical brass and copper container with a long handle, quite an art! It is found everywhere. The spectacle of the old-fashioned preparation is interesting. Very strong in taste, do not mix coffee, the pond is used to predict the future! It is served sweet, unsweetened or moderately sweet to report before preparation.

Preparation:

  • In a saucepan, pour 2 volumes of water, add the sugar and the 2 teaspoons. Above all, do not mix the preparation
  • Heat everything over medium heat. You have to wait for a small foam to form on top. The coffee is ready when it starts to boil
  • Turn off the heat and remove the pan
  • Pour the coffee into the cups. You have to wait until the bunch of coffee has settled at the bottom of the cup before tasting. You can also pour a few drops of cold water to drop the grounds and serve the hot coffee immediately. The coffee thus prepared can be tasted by sucking up the drink so as not to swallow the grounds

Sahlep

Sixth of the list of best traditional Turkish Drinks is a typical sweet drink drunk during the winter period: Sahlep is a difficult wild plant to grow, belonging to the family of Orchids, coming from the east of Turkey. It sprinkles with cinnamon before tasting. Street vendors, on the boat, in restaurants, it is found in many places.

It is also known to be a therapeutic remedy for sore throat winter illnesses. Served in a hot cup, a delight to discover!

Boza

Seventh of the list of best traditional Turkish Drinks Boza announces the arrival of winter; sold under the windows of dwellings. A simple call “Bozaci” allows the young man to go up to your door to serve you in a dish of your choice, the quantity you want. A drink much appreciated by Ottomans. it is tasted lukewarm, mainly in winter; served in a glass, sprinkled with cinnamon and accompanied by toasted chickpeas on top. It is an opaque fermented drink with high nutritional value based on bulgur, rice or even millet depending on the region, sugar, flour, yogurt, vanilla are added to it; which gives a taste that is both sweet and sour.

Pomegranate juice

Eighth of the list of best traditional Turkish Drinks is pomegranate juice or nar juice is being sold by street vendors, by traders overlooking the street, a delight at hand. Inexpensive it is served in a plastic cup, on site or take away, it is also found in grocery stores or restaurants. Its wonderful taste is due to the quality of pomegranates from the Aegean and Antalya. Pomegranate is a flagship fruit in Turkey, it is eaten willingly, even by the smallest. In Turkey, the grain of the fruit is quite large, very red with a sweet and excellent taste!

Limonata

Ninth of the list of best traditional Turkish Drinks is Turkish lemonade with sweet lemon juice, mixed with its zest, accompanied by fresh mint leaves, sold on the run in old-fashioned in a can or in a plastic glass. It is easily drunk on hot days, a pure summer delight.

Preparation:

  • 4 lemons
    16 tablespoons of caster sugar
    Fresh mint leaves
  • Wash the lemons well.
    Grate the zest of 4 lemons

Mix the 16 tablespoons (4 per lemon) of sugar with the zest, crushing them well
Pour the juice of the 4 lemons and add it to the sugar
Let stand overnight in the refrigerator
The next day pour two liters of fresh water into the preparation
Stir, pass everything

Serve it with small mint leaves, on crushed ice, with ice cubes, with slices of green apple… completely your choice

Raki – traditional Turkish drinks

Tenth of the list of best traditional Turkish Drinks is Raki. Alcoholic drink to be consumed in moderation. It can be enjoyed on all occasions from midday to evening. Raki is a drink at 40/45 degrees which is generally drunk with mezze, cheese as an aperitif… sold by many brands of alcohol, it is not difficult to find. Based on grapes flavored with anise, it is drunk very fresh, with water or not, with ice cubes or not.

  • Some details on the Turkish raki:

– Before starting to drink, check that everyone is served, then only the first glass is toasted, be careful not to wear your glass higher than that of your opposite
– Do not mix with other alcohols
– Never drink, the raki in one go as you do with tequila or vodka

  • What you need to know about the art of behaving in a Meyhane:

Turks often say that to really know someone, you have to travel with that person or drink at the same table. Raki is a strong drink and knowing how some people will react is not predictable. So choose your outing companions well.

Meyhanes have an important place in Turkish gastronomic culture.

As soon as you have ordered your drink (which is generally raki), you will be offered a huge tray covered with cold appetizers (Mezze). You just have to choose. And in an instant, the table will be covered with a glut of dishes. Remember to ask for toast and butter right away. Before drinking the first drops of your raki, it is better that you eat a little buttered bread, this will allow you to better tolerate the alcohol. Then the waiter will offer you a variety of hot appetizers. If you have just arrived in this country observe the dishes served around you. After the hot mezze, the main course. So you must still be able to swallow something.

Note that the mezzes arranged in advance on the table are not offered, but will be included in the bill. If you don’t want them, send them back right away without touching them. Do not order the main dish right away, the mezzes are sometimes plentiful and you may not want to eat more. If you intend to eat fish, then be careful about the number of mezzes you will consume. After so many good things, there may be no room left for the fish.

Street musicians sometimes come to play between the tables, if you do not want them to come to your table, immediately notify the restaurant owner. On the other hand, if you want to have a small local musical accompaniment, do not give a tip separately, but to one of the musicians while pointing it out to the others.

Cherry juice – traditional Turkish drinks

Eleventh of the list of best traditional Turkish Drinks is cherry juice. It is not uncommon to see men in traditional Ottoman costumes offering you cherry juice in the street. This drink is pure fresh seeded fruit, added a touch of lemon juice with a little sugar, it is eaten fresh in a goblet; it is also found in supermarkets, grocery stores or in restaurants.

Efes beer – traditional Turkish drinks

Twelveth of the list of best traditional Turkish Drinks Beer of Turkish origin, can be drunk in a can, by the glass or in a fountain… It is drunk in all pubs, restaurants, clubs in Istanbul. Efes is the Turkish beer par excellence, to be absolutely tested by beer lovers.

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