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Traditional Beverages

Ayran: A delicious drink made out of yogurt, diluted with water, salted, and must be served cool. For a thick creamy texture it is best to use a blender. It is very much valued by Turks and is the perfect accompaniment to kebap. To cut it short, a wonderfully refreshing summer drink, refill your body under the hot Turkish sun! A must for you to try...

Boza: A miraculous drink of Turks made from crushed millet and water, which has been left to ferment. It is thick, slightly alcoholic and the flavor is elusive - both sweet and sour - and may seem unusual at first. Boza is usually decorated with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas.

Although Boza is a part of our old food & beverage culture, most importantly it is the symbol of "winter". The bozacı (boza seller) have always been one of the most colorful sights, best to say sounds, of cold winter evenings in Istanbul. They used to announce their presence with a mournful cry of "Booooza!" and today they still walk down the streets of the older quarters with Boza in wooden barrel, slung over one shoulder. As well as from street sellers in winters, Boza can also be bought from special Boza shops, the most famous being Vefa Bozacısı near the Süleymaniye Mosque, on the shelves of some supermarkets, cafes and dessert shops year-round. Try it while you can!

Rakı: Among alcoholic drinks Rakı as a beverage ranks at the highest point of the popularity scale in Turkey. This aniseed-flavored national drink of Turks has high degree alcohol and should not be drinking fast.

Most people drink it by mixing with water. Colorless rakı turns to be milk white when mixed with water. Mindful drinkers fill their 1/3 of their long and narrow glass with rakı then pour water and finally put ice in it. And therefore in the common language it is also called Aslan sütü , (lion milk). The great thing with Raki is that its flavor lends itself to all courses, to the hors-d'oeuvre, the sweets, fish or meat, Rakı always fits. With şerefe (cheers) you salute each other.

For further information about rakı and meyhane please visit Alla Turca, Rakı & Meyhane

Çay (Tea): In Turkey wherever you go, tea or coffee will be offered. Çay is the most preferred drink of the Turks along with the traditional Turkish Coffee. It is almost everywhere, every time, either during daytime or in the evening. Turkish tea is prepared by brewing it on porcelain teapot over boiling water and served in delicate, small clear glasses to show the deep red color, called tavşan kanı (rabbit blood)..

Drinking tea is such an essential part of an office day. Any trouble in the constant supply of fresh tea is a sure way to sacrifice productivity! Also a park without tea and coffee is inconceivable in Turkey. Every spot with a view having a tea garden or a teahouse is the proof of the indispensability of tea for Turks. These places may be under a plane tree looking into the village, on top of hills with views of a valley or the sea, by the harbor, in the market, by a waterfall or in the woods.

Türk Kahvesi (Turkish Coffee): Not only a drink but also a ritual. Since it has been introduced to the western world by Turks in 16th century it is known as Turkish coffee, although coffee is not grown in Turkey. Turkish coffee drunk after meals and/or especially as "morning coffee" by housewives at 11 o'clock (but definitely not at breakfast) is served in small porcelain cups resembling espresso cups.

It is traditionally prepared in a small copper pot called cezve. It is made by mixing an extremely finely ground coffee with water and sugar. They are all heated together at the same time and when the liquid boils Kahve is ready to be served.

According to your taste, you should let the hostess/waiter know in advance how much sugar you want in it: coffee is served as sade (without sugar), az şekerli (a little sugar), orta (medium sugar) and şekerli (sweet). While drinking you should leave the coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup, so sip the coffee lightly. Don't forget all festive meals always end with a cup of Turkish coffee.

One of the sayings "A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship." shows how much it is liked among Turks By the way - perhaps you will find someone who will read your future from the coffee grounds. This is very popular here in Turkey and sometimes you may be surprised by the things told by somebody who has no info about you. "Don't believe fortune telling but don't be left without fortune telling." Is one of the favorite statements!!!

Sahlep: The hot drink of cold winter days made from the dried powdered roots of a mountain orchid. Sahlep powder is mixed with milk and sugar and boiled. The roots are rich in starch and the mixture thickens naturally, however you can add a little bit starch for a thicker liquid. It is served sprinkled with powdered cinnamon and is a perfect companion on a cold day. Moreover it is widely used to cure sore throats and coughs. On the other hand sahlep is served on ferryboats and other public places during winter.

Şalgam Suyu (Turnip Juice): A sour, sometimes hot, crimson drink obtained by boiling turnips and carrot in water and adding vinegar. It is a southern Anatolia drink and one of the most preferred accompaniments of rakı and kebap recently. It relieves an upset stomach and also helps cope with the hot climate.

Traditional Beverages
Turkish Fast Food
Akide Candy
Spices and Aromatic Herbs
Turkish Coffee
Kirkpinar Oil-Wrestling
Traditions & Habits
Religious Colors
Islam in Turkey
Istanbul's Holy Places
Ankara's Holy Places
Famous Personalities
Legendary bazaars
Turkish Cuisine
Special Tastes
Hubble-bubble (Nargile)
Rakı and Meyhane
Hamam - Turkish Bath
Luck Games
A Little Turkish Fun

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 By mymerhaba team  21.11.2003

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