Although majority of Turkish people are Islamic, alcoholic beverages are as readily available as in Europe. Only during the Ramadan do the majority prefer not to drink even if they don’t fast.
Rakı and beer are the most common alcoholic beverages in Turkey. There are both international and local beers in Turkey. The best seller is Efes, which is a local one. Prices of alcoholic beverages in Turkey are more expensive than Europe. A 50cl beer is between 4tl-5tl depending on the brand.
Honestly, Turkish wines are not good quality. Still, there are some local wines you can buy. Kavaklıdere, Doluca, Kayra, Pamukkale are the most preferred brands. If you like travelling and if you’re interested in wines, some local wines are produced in Cappadocia. Also, Bozcaada, an island in the Aegean Region, is famous for their grapes and wines. There’s also a vintage festival in first week of September. A small bit of travel information here; Bozcaada was chosen as the fourth most beautiful island in the world by Conde Nast Traveller magazine.
Raki is an anise-flavoured alcoholic drink that’s popular in Turkey. It’s mixed with chilled water. Dilution with water causes the raki to turn a white colour. Sometimes ice can be added. Raki is consumed alongside with mezes, small tapas style plates of food. Raki is an important component of Turkish tradition and deserves a separate passage about it. After finishing the beverages topic, below, we’ll write more about raki.
Tea is beverage Turkish people drink at breakfast and all day long. Tea grows in the east part of the Black Sea Region. It’s made with two teapots. Tea made in the upper pot is diluted by adding boiling water from the lower pot.
Ayran is a common cold beverage which may accompany almost all dishes, except seafood. It’s made by yoğurt mixed with cold water and sometimes with salt.
Şalgam Suyu, which is turnip juice, is usually combined with kebabs or sometimes served with Raki. It’s from the southern cities of Adana and Mersin. It’s served cold.
Boza and Sahlep are traditional winter drinks. Boza is a malt drink made from maize and fermented wheat in Turkey. Sahlep is a flower made from the tubers of the orchid genus. Salep is made with water or hot milk.
Şerbet is a syrup and may be made from many ingredients but especially fruits. It’s usually sweet and served chilled. You are able to see some şerbetçi sell şerbet on the street.
Photo Credits: Nico Kaiser