What to drink in Istanbul and what is the local drink of the Turks? These questions are frequently asked by tourists. Istanbul is a city that hosts millions of tourists every year. Connecting the Asian and European continents, this city is the most interesting city in Turkey. If you are a tourist who has come to Istanbul, you must be wondering what to eat and drink here.
Istanbul and Turkey are very rich in terms of culture. Many traditional and contemporary flavors are still consumed in Istanbul. Let us briefly explain the most consumed beverages in Turkey in this content.
There is a wide variety of local drinks in Istanbul. Some are consumed hot, while others are served cold. We can also distinguish between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The drinks that we will explain under the heading “What to drink in Istanbul” may also be consumed in some countries of the world. But you will realize that drinks like black tea and traditional coffee require a Turkish touch. There are also drinks that you can taste only during your trip to Istanbul: ayran, boza and other fruit juices. Rakı, an alcoholic beverage, is almost the national drink for Turks. Locally produced bottled beers and wines are also consumed frequently.
Most Consumed Beverages in Istanbul
Coffee and Tea
The most common beverage consumed in Istanbul is tea. There is an important half in Turkish culture. The best beverage accompanying the meal at breakfast is tea. It can be drunk all day long after breakfast. While visiting Istanbul, they offer tea in cafes, shops, bazaars, and even banks.
Black Tea: Black tea has a place almost as much as coffee in Turkish culture. Although its history is not very old, it was quickly adopted and spread all over Turkey. For tourists from some countries, tea can be a heavy drink. So when ordering tea, you can ask for it to be less brewed. You can also add sugar while drinking. It’s up to your taste.
Apple Tea: Even though it is not served very often, they will definitely bring it when you want it. It is generally sold to serve tourists in tourist areas.
Turkish Coffee: There is no one who has not heard of the fame of Turkish coffee. It is a drink known all over the world. It is a thick and strong coffee. It is classified according to the amount of sugar added during cooking: low sugar, medium sugar, and high sugar. You can finish Turkish coffee in a few sips. The grounds left at the bottom of the glass are not drunk. It is said that Turkish coffee is a memory of forty years.
Other Famous Soft Drinks
Water: The healthiest beverage is water. Water is a widely consumed beverage in Turkey. Many historical Turkish buildings have fountains. Water has been given importance since ancient times.
Bottled mineral water in Istanbul is cheap and sold literally everywhere.
Ayran: Ayran is a Turkish beverage. Most Turks consider ayran as their national drink. It is produced by adding water and salt to whipped yogurt. It should be drunk cold and fresh. We cannot say that you drink ayran when you drink it by keeping it waiting. It is sold fresh in restaurants and cafes. You can also buy it packaged from the markets.
Boza: Another important local beverage among the Turks is boza, which is made from bulgur fermented with water and sugar. According to belief, it is a drink that gives strength to men. There is no scientific study that proves this.
Fruit and Vegetable Juices: There are kiosks selling fruit juices in almost every district in Istanbul. We recommend you to try these buffets. They make juice from fresh fruits right in front of your eyes. Popular juices are orange juice, cherry juice, and turnip juice. If you have come to Istanbul during the winter season, taste the delicious taste of sahleb, a hot drink made from tapioca root extracts.
Alcoholic beverages are also consumed a lot in Turkey. There are a few drinks that are consumed a lot in celebrations and special nights. Raki is the most popular among them. Beer comes second.
Rakı: Raki is a strong, clear, anise-flavored drink similar to Greek ouzo and French pastiche. Many people add cold water and ice while drinking raki. This process gives the raki a chalky white appearance. For this reason, it is called ‘lion’s milk’ among the Turks. Generally, appetizers and fish are consumed while drinking raki.
Beer: Efes Pilsen is arguably the most famous beer in Turkey. Beer is sold in bottles, cans, or kegs. When ordering, the waiter or bar attendant will ask you which one you prefer. The most consumed are small (33cl) or large (50cl) options.
Wine: The wine industry in Turkey is constantly developing. Local wine delicacies are also quite abundant. Red and white wines are consumed very often in Istanbul.