From coffee and tea to unique and colorful cocktails, these Turkish drinks are too good to miss.
Some are boozy, others are fruity, and they’re all delish!
Turkey is home to some of the world’s most unique and flavorful libations.
From pickled drinks to fruit teas, they have a beverage for every occasion.
Start your day with a strong Turkish coffee, enjoy a refreshing glass of lemonade with lunch, then wind down with an after-dinner sipper like raki.
Seriously, there are tons of incredible Turkish drinks out there. And I’ve got 20 of my faves right here.
20 Most Popular Turkish Beverages
1. Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee is one of the most popular Turkish drinks around.
Unlike standard drip coffee, this is all about fine crafting. In fact, it’s a tradition that gets passed down from generation to generation!
To make a proper pot, you’ll toss sugar, water, and coffee grounds into a cezve, a Turkish coffee pot.
Then you’ll boil the pot and intermittently add coffee and foam to your cup.
If you don’t have a cezve, a small saucepan will do.
2. Yayık Ayranı (Turkish Buttermilk)
In the states, we have cow’s milk. In Turkey, they have yogurt milk.
This three-ingredient cold drink is creamy and refreshing. And it all starts with yogurt and salt.
Thin it with some water and add dried mint for a more refreshing flavor. Oh, and feel free to tailor the salt to your liking.
Şira is a type of non-alcoholic fermented juice that’s typically prepared with either apples or grapes.
Part sweet, part sour, a cold glass of Şira is a terrific thirst quencher on a hot summer day.
So the next time you’re parched, give it a try. You’ll find it quite refreshing.
4. Kurdish Coffee (Pistachio Coffee)
If you’re a fan of Starbucks’ pistachio latte, I think you’ll love this Kurdish coffee.
Also known as ‘menengic coffee,’ it’s not like the coffee you and I drink every morning.
Traditionally, it features ground roasted terebinth fruit, which is related to pistachios.
Needless to say, it’s usually caffeine-free.
But if you could use a jolt, try this caffeinated version.
You’ll need brewed coffee, pistachios, espresso powder, and honey. It also has a pinch of salt and a hint of vanilla extract.
The final result is incredibly frothy and deliciously nutty.
5. Tursu Suyu
Normally, I wouldn’t suggest drinking pickled veggies. But when it comes to tursu suyu, I’m all for it!
Sour and salty, it has a very distinctive flavor. Take a sip, and you’ll feel invigorated!
While I acknowledge it’s not for everyone, it’s something you have to try at least once in your life.
6. Limonata (Turkish Lemonade)
If the last drink was a little too adventurous, go with a refreshing Turkish lemonade instead.
It’s similar to American lemonade, except it’s ultra-fresh. You peel lemons and muddle the fruit with water and sugar.
Toss it in the blender with ice if you want something even more refreshing.
7. Rize Çayı (Turkish Black Tea)
Tea is always welcome when you’re in Turkey. They have a huge tea-drinking culture and plenty of tasty recipes to try.
When it comes to black tea, this Turkish brew is very strong and bitter. I like it with some sugar, but give it a try and see what you think.
8. Salep (Turkish Hot Milk)
Salep is a great winter drink for relaxing. From street vendors to cafes, you’ll find Turkish hot milk all over the place.
Powdered salep consists of dried orchid tubers, and the starchiness is what gives the milk a creamy consistency.
Add sugar to sweeten it up, and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Then curl up with a good book because it’s time to kick back.
Boza is a very thick, fermented grain-based drink.
You can make it with a variety of grains, including wheat, barley, and millet. But this homemade version is all about bulgur.
You’ll boil bulgur, then set it out to dry for a couple of hours. Next, toss it back into the pot with sugar and water.
From there, it’s a long and slow process that takes about a day.
In the end, you get a sensational smoothie-like drink topped with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas. Yum!
10. Sharbat/Sherbet (Turkish Ramadan Drink)
Sharbat is a fruit drink that usually consists of either pomegranates, grapes, or tamarind.
It’s an ancient beverage that goes as far back as the 11th century. And unlike tea and coffee, sharbat is reserved for celebrations like Ramadan.
You can make a lemon version at home with fresh lemons, water, sugar, and coriander. Throw it all in a pot, boil it, and chill.
11. Ayran (Turkish Yogurt Drink)
Here’s another fantastic way to make the Turkish yogurt drink Ayran.
It’s super frothy, very creamy, and excellent served ice cold.
Garnish it with cucumber slices or mint and a sprinkle of black pepper for something savory and totally unique.
It’s a beautiful afternoon pick-me-up and a refreshing morning beverage.
12. Elma Çayı (Turkish Apple Tea)
Turkish apple tea may not be as popular as black tea, but I think you’ll love it.
It’s made by soaking fresh or dried apples with cinnamon and other spices in hot water. Though sometimes it’s made with apple powder.
It may not have actual tea leaves, but it’s delicious nonetheless!
13. Şalgam Suyu (Pickled Turnip Juice)
Another pickled beverage you should try is salgam suyu. That’s Turkish for turnip juice.
You make it the same way you would anything you’re pickling. Then, you drink the juice.
This recipe is particularly special because it calls for beets, carrots, bulgur, and chickpeas.
14. Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate juice is a very popular beverage you’ll find everywhere in Turkey.
It’s refreshingly fruity and perfectly sweetened. Plus, it’s so easy to make!
All it requires is fresh pomegranate arils, sugar, and water. Try it at home and see for yourself why it’s all the rage.
15. Kuşburnu Çayı (Rose Hip Tea)
Turkey grows a lot of different types of roses. So it’s no surprise they use rose hips in tea.
Floral, sweet, and lightly sour, rose hip tea is incredibly healing, thanks to all the immune-boosting properties.
It’s high in vitamin C and rich in antioxidants.
Make it at home by tossing dried rose hips in a mug and topping it off with hot water.
Go on, pour yourself a glass, and cheers to your health. You’ll love it!
16. Turkish Raki
Do you have something to celebrate? Then you need to raise a glass of raki.
It’s a twice-distilled grape spirit with a powerful anise taste. You’ll find it’s reserved for special occasions, like weddings or birthdays in Turkey.
Also known as Lion’s milk, it has a cloudy appearance and high alcohol content. So keep that in mind when before you drink too much.
17. Efes Pilsen (Turkish Beer)
Efes Pilsen is a light, thirst-quenching lager from the Anadolu Efes Brewery.
Crisp and refreshing, it’s an easy one to toss back. But don’t worry, it’s only around 5% ABV, so it won’t get you all tuned up like raki.
Whip up an easy Turkish dinner and pour yourself a pint. It doesn’t get any better than that!
18. Turkish Delight Cocktail
As the name suggests, Turkish Delight is a cocktail based on a popular Turkish candy.
It’s a gin-based libation shaken up with limoncello and simple syrup. Serve it in a coupe glass with a dried lemon wedge for a happy hour sipper.
When choosing gin, go for Bloom Jasmine and Rose. It gives the drink its pretty pink hue and lovely floral flavor to boot.
19. Turkish Delight Martini
Traditional martinis feature gin and vermouth. Though in recent years, many people prefer it with vodka instead of gin.
So full disclosure: the vodka and the glass are the only things that make this a martini.
Still, it’s a pretty drink that’s fragrant and tasty. You’ll need vodka, crème de cacao, and rose syrup, which you’ll shake over ice.
Pour that into a martini glass and add a few drops of rose water to boost the flavor.
Traditional or not, you can’t deny it’s a stunner!
20. Turkish Screwdriver
Turkish screwdrivers are all about the sweet and tart flavors of orange juice. What makes it unique, though, is raki.
That means you also get some anise notes in the mix. It’s definitely more flavorful than using vodka and very distinct.
Serve it up at your next cocktail hour. It’s a stiff drink best enjoyed with good company.
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