16 Popular and Traditional Beverages from Turkey

Turkish beverages are a rich and diverse array of drinks, reflecting the country’s culinary heritage and cultural traditions.

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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Basic Information

Turkish Drinks: Basic Overview

Common Ingredients

Anise, coffee beans, yogurt, terebinth fruits, tea leaves, grains, fruits

Common Preparing Methods

Brewing, blending, steeping, distilling

Key Taste

Sweet, bitter, complex

Drinking Etiquette

Rakı is usually served with meze and water, Turkish coffee may involve grind reading

Culinary Festivals

Şalgam Festival in Adana, weddings

Influence and Fusion

Efes Pilsen (fusion of traditional brewing and contemporary flavors)
Origin and Region

Turkish Drinks: Origin and Region



Culinary Region

Western Asia

Country’s Region

  1. Northern Turkey (Black Sea Region)
  2. Central Turkey (Central Anatolia)
  3. Southern Turkey (Mediterranean Region)
  4. Eastern Turkey
  5. Western Turkey (Aegean and Marmara Regions)
Turkish Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Types of Turkish Drinks

  • Alcoholic Beverages

    In Turkey, alcoholic drinks showcase a blend of traditional flavors and brewing methods.

    Signature offerings include an anise-flavored spirit, known for its milky transformation when mixed with water, symbolizing purity and enjoyed in social settings.

    The beer scene is dominated by a leading brand offering a range from classic lagers to darker, richer varieties, essential at gatherings and casual meetings.

    These alcoholic options embody Turkish hospitality and cultural traditions

  • Non-alcoholic Beverages

    Turkish non-alcoholic drinks range from spicy fermented beverages to sweet, aromatic sherbets, catering to various tastes and occasions.

    Popular choices include a cooling yogurt-based drink for summer and warm, comforting beverages like orchid tuber-based drinks for winter.

    Fruit juices and lemonades offer fresh, natural alternatives, reflecting the diversity and adaptability of Turkish culinary traditions to different seasons and regions.

Turkish beverages are drinks widely savored in Turkey, a country that belongs to Western Asia, known for its rich cultural heritage and diverse culinary traditions.

These beverages range from traditional alcoholic drinks to unique non-alcoholic refreshments, each with its own history and cultural significance.

One of the most iconic Turkish alcoholic beverages is Rakı, often referred to as Turkey’s national drink. It is a strong, anise-flavored spirit that plays a significant role in Turkish food and drinking culture, particularly as a symbol in many of the country’s cities.

Turkish coffee is another hallmark of Turkey’s beverage culture. Prepared in a unique style without filtering, this very finely ground coffee is boiled in a special pot and served in small cups, often with a side of something sweet like Turkish delight.

The preparation and serving of Turkish coffee are steeped in tradition, contributing to its special place in Turkish social and cultural life.

In addition to exploring the well-known drinks of Turkey, you have the opportunity to delve into the nation’s customary drinking habits, the worldwide acclaim of Turkish drinks, and the harmonious relationship between Turkish beverages and their culinary counterparts.

The traditional drinking culture in Turkey is rich and diverse, encompassing a variety of beverages that are deeply ingrained in Turkish society and customs. Here is a quick overview:

  • Winter Warmers: Salep is a cherished winter drink in Turkey, made from the ground tubers of orchids. It’s traditionally served hot with a sprinkle of cinnamon, providing a comforting warmth during the colder months.
  • Summer Refreshers: During the warmer months, sherbet and limonata are popular choices. Şerbet is known for its sweet and refreshing qualities, while limonata offers a tart and invigorating flavor, perfect for hot summer days.
  • Year-Round Favorites: Rakı, an anise-flavored drink, is central to Turkish social gatherings, usually served with meze. Şalgam suyu, a fermented carrot and turnip drink, is favored with kebabs for its distinctive taste.
    Ayran, a yogurt drink, is popular for its refreshing and digestive benefits in Turkey’s hot climates.
  • Turkish Tea and Coffee: Tea, served in tulip-shaped glasses, is a symbol of hospitality and an essential part of social interactions, while Turkish coffee, known for its strong flavor and thick consistency, is often enjoyed with friends and accompanied by the tradition of coffee grind reading.

Delving into the roots of traditional Turkish drinking culture reveals a rich tapestry of flavors and rituals that have captivated taste buds around the world, setting the stage for the global popularity of Turkish beverages.

Turkish beverages have made a significant mark on the global stage, with a variety of traditional drinks finding popularity in other countries.

Ayran is known throughout the Middle East for its refreshing and healthy properties, often served with meat dishes​​.

Rakı, referred to as “lion’s milk” because of its milky appearance when mixed with water, is popular in the Balkans and the Mediterranean, closely associated with Turkish meze culture and celebrated in festivals in Adana and Northern Cyprus​​​​.

Turkish coffee, appreciated for its strong flavor and unique brewing technique, is widely consumed across the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe, often enjoyed in social settings​​​​.

Furthermore, Turkish beer, particularly Efes Pilsen, has found its way into over 70 countries, becoming a staple in many markets outside Turkey. Efes Pilsen is known for its crisp, light taste and is a popular choice for a refreshing drink on hot summer nights​​​​.

Next, let’s discover 16 must-try drinks that showcase Turkey’s rich culinary heritage:

16 Popular Turkish Beverages with Filters

Discover the most beloved Turkish beverages, carefully curated in a list of 16 options sorted by their popularity. This comprehensive guide features advanced filters to refine your search, allowing you to sort by popularity, ingredients, tastes, and preparation methods.

Whether you’re interested in traditional, national, street beverages, or fusion, this guide makes it easy to navigate the rich tapestry of Turkey’s drink offerings.

  • Widely enjoyed across Turkey and internationally recognized.
  • Available in various settings, from cafes to homes and social events.
  • Represent the essence of Turkish culture and traditions.
  • Serve as symbols of hospitality, deeply ingrained in Turkey’s social fabric.
  • Have historical significance, passed down through generations.
  • Showcase the diversity and richness of Turkey’s regional and culinary heritage.
  • Integral to Turkey’s lively street food scene, perfect for on-the-go refreshment.
  • Capture the dynamic atmosphere of markets and busy streets.
  • Blend traditional Turkish flavors with contemporary influences.
  • Cater to modern tastes while honoring Turkey’s culinary traditions.
Turkish Tea

Turkish Tea

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Street Beverages
  • Traditional

Turkish Tea is a traditional beverage deeply ingrained in the social and cultural fabric of Turkey, known for its distinctive preparation and consumption style. It is a national drink that symbolizes hospitality and friendship, often served in tulip-shaped glasses to enhance its aroma and taste.

Turkish tea is primarily grown in the Rize Province, which benefits from a mild climate and fertile soil, making it the heartland of tea production in the country. The tea culture in Turkey extends beyond mere consumption, playing a significant role in social gatherings and daily life.

While Turkish tea itself does not have widely recognized variations like some other beverages, the way it is brewed and served—strong, light, or in between—can vary from one household to another.

Turkish Coffee Unfiltered

Turkish Coffee

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Street Beverages
  • Traditional

Turkish coffee is a traditional beverage of Turkish cuisine, known for its unique preparation method where very finely ground coffee beans are boiled in a special pot without filtering.

This coffee is famous for its strong and distinctive flavor, often enhanced with sugar or spices like cardamom. It is traditionally served in small cups and is a significant part of Turkish cultural rituals, especially in weddings and hospitality.

Turkish coffee has various sweetness levels, from unsweetened to very sweet, catering to different palates.

Turkish Yogurt Drink


  • Non-Alcoholic
  • National
  • Street Beverages
  • Traditional

Ayran is a traditional Turkish beverage known for its refreshing qualities, especially popular during the hot summer months. It is made by mixing yogurt with water and a pinch of salt, sometimes garnished with mint for an extra refreshing touch.

Ayran is considered a national drink in Turkey and is often served alongside grilled meats or rice dishes. While Ayran itself is quite straightforward, variations in its preparation can be found across different regions, adjusting the thickness or the amount of salt and mint to taste.

Yeni Raki


  • Alcoholic
  • National
  • Traditional

Rakı is a traditional Turkish spirit known for its strong anise flavor, making it a national beverage deeply embedded in Turkish culture. It is typically served with chilled water, which turns it a milky white color, earning it the nickname “lion’s milk.”

This transformation is a cherished part of the rakı drinking experience, symbolizing purity and transformation. Rakı is often consumed alongside meze, small dishes of food, in a social setting that fosters conversation and camaraderie.

There are various brands and types of rakı, each with its unique characteristics, but the classic grape-based rakı remains the most cherished. Rakı is integral to many social gatherings and celebrations in Turkey, embodying the spirit of Turkish hospitality and communal life.

Efes Pilsen

Efes Pilsen

  • Alcoholic
  • Fusion

Efes Pilsen, now known as Anadolu Efes, is a prominent beer brand that is an integral part of modern Turkish beverage culture. It is a fusion drink, combining traditional brewing techniques with contemporary flavors to cater to a wide audience.

Efes Pilsen is known for its variety of beer types, including the classic Efes Pilsen lager, Efes Dark (a richer, maltier option), and Efes Light, catering to those preferring a lighter beer.

The brand has become synonymous with social gatherings and is often enjoyed in casual settings, making it a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.

Turnip Water

Şalgam Suyu

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Street Beverages
  • Traditional

Şalgam suyu, or turnip water, is a traditional Turkish beverage made from the fermentation of purple carrot and turnip, seasoned with various spices.

Originating from the southern regions of Turkey, such as Adana and Mersin, Şalgam Suyu is a staple street drink known for its tangy and spicy flavor profile.

It is commonly consumed alongside meals, especially kebabs, and is often paired with rakı, an alcoholic anise-flavored drink. It holds a significant place in Turkish culinary culture and is celebrated at the Şalgam Festival in Adana, highlighting its cultural importance.

Ottoman Sharbat


  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Sherbet is a traditional Turkish beverage that comes in a variety of flavors, made from fruits, flowers, or herbs mixed with sugar and water.

This sweet and often colorful drink is not just a refreshing choice for hot days but also plays a part in cultural and religious events, such as Ramadan, where it’s commonly served to break the fast.

Famous variations include rose, lemon, tamarind, and pomegranate sherbets, each offering a unique taste experience.

Turkish Lemonade


  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Street Beverages
  • Traditional

Limonata is a classic and refreshing Turkish lemonade deeply rooted in Turkish cuisine. This drink is crafted from fresh lemons, sugar, and water, with optional mint leaves for an added twist.

Its preparation involves a unique process where lemon rinds and sugar are combined, either by rubbing together or cooking, before being mixed with lemon juice, resulting in a smooth, sweet flavor without the typical sourness of lemonades.

Limonata stands out for its natural, zesty taste, offering a healthier alternative to commercial soft drinks, and is especially popular during the warm summer months in Turkey.

Limonata is often served in cafes and restaurants across the country and enjoyed for its refreshing qualities.

Turkish Hot Milk


  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Street Beverages
  • Traditional

Salep is a traditional Turkish beverage made from the flour of orchid tubers, offering warmth and nourishment, especially during the cold months.

It is a beloved winter drink in Turkey and parts of the former Ottoman Empire, cherished for its creamy texture and subtle sweetness, often enhanced with cinnamon and other spices.

Salep’s popularity extends beyond Turkey, enjoyed in various forms across the Middle East and neighboring regions. While salep is not specifically associated with any festivals, its consumption is a cherished ritual during winter, providing warmth and comfort.

The demand for authentic salep has led to concerns about the sustainability of wild orchids, prompting efforts to protect these plants and encourage sustainable practices.

Boza Turkish


  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Boza is a traditional fermented beverage of Turkish origin, known for its thick consistency and slightly acidic sweet flavor. Made from fermenting various grains like maize and wheat, it is a popular drink with a rich history dating back to Central Asia and the Ottoman era.

Boza is famous for its unique variations, including those with different levels of sweetness and thickness, catering to diverse palates. It is a popular winter drink in Turkey, enjoyed for its warming and comforting qualities.

Turkish Fermented Dairy Drink


  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Kefir is a traditional fermented milk drink that is a staple in Turkish cuisine. It is known for its tangy taste and slightly effervescent texture, making it a unique and refreshing beverage.

It is made by adding kefir grains to milk, which initiates the fermentation process. This drink is rich in probiotics and is believed to offer various health benefits, including digestive health and immune support.

Kefir has several variations, including those made from different types of milk such as cow, goat, or sheep milk, each offering a distinct flavor profile.

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate Juice

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Street Beverages
  • Traditional

Pomegranate juice is a beloved drink in Turkey, known for its deep, ruby-red color and a perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors.

It’s not only enjoyed on its own but also used as a key ingredient in cooking, especially in the form of pomegranate molasses, which adds a tangy depth to various dishes.



  • Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Şarap, or Turkish wine, is a significant part of Turkey’s culinary landscape, reflecting the country’s rich history in viticulture.

Turkey’s diverse climate and geography contribute to a wide variety of wine types, with the country being home to numerous indigenous grape varieties, though only a fraction are used commercially.

Turkish wine production spans across several regions, each offering distinct flavors and characteristics. Notable wine-producing areas include Thrace, known for its elegant wines, and the Aegean coast, which produces wines with Mediterranean influences.

Eastern and Central Anatolia also contribute to the country’s wine diversity, despite the climatic challenges. Turkish wines include both traditional varieties like Öküzgözü and Boğazkere, as well as international grapes that have found a new home in Turkey.

Kurdish Coffee Pistachio

Kurdish Coffee

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Kurdish coffee, also known as menengiç coffee, is a traditional drink in Kurdish and Turkish cuisines, made from roasted and ground terebinth fruits, which are related to pistachios.

This caffeine-free beverage is popular in Southeastern Anatolia and is known for its unique, nutty flavor. It has been a part of the region’s culinary tradition for over a century and is sometimes available as a branded product in an oily paste form.

Turkish Buttermilk

Yayık Ayranı

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Yayık ayranı is a traditional variant of ayran, distinguished by its production method using fermented butter making by-products.

This drink, also known as Turkish buttermilk, is not as widely available commercially due to its artisanal nature, typically found in local markets rather than in large-scale retail outlets.

Yayık ayranı is made from churned soured yogurt, water, and salt, and is known for its distinct sour taste, which comes from the longer fermentation of the yogurt used in its production. It is a traditional drink, mostly produced in rural areas for domestic consumption.

Lohusa Serbeti

Lohusa Şerbeti

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Lohusa Şerbeti is a traditional Turkish beverage, often associated with the postpartum period, as it is traditionally given to women after childbirth. This sweet, red drink is made from water, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and red food coloring.

Over time, it has also become a drink shared with visitors and friends, expanding its consumption beyond its original purpose.

How Do Turkish Beverages and Dishes Complement Each Other?

Here’s how some popular Turkish dishes are often paired with beverages to enhance the dining experience:

  • Grilled Dishes: Grilled meats like kebabs and koftes are beautifully complemented by the tangy coolness of ayran, the unique spiciness of şalgam suyu, and are often followed by soothing Turkish tea.
  • Soups: Rich and hearty Turkish soups pair wonderfully with the staple side of traditional ekmek, the refreshing zest of limonata, and are typically rounded off with a warm cup of Turkish tea.
  • Seafood: The delicate flavors of Turkish seafood are elevated by the aniseed notes of raki, the crispness of white wines, particularly those from local Turkish grapes.
  • Desserts: The sweetness of Turkish desserts like baklava is perfectly balanced by the strong, rich essence of Turkish coffee and the diverse flavors of traditional şerbet.

Each of these pairings showcases the thoughtfulness in this cuisine, where every sip and bite is meant to either complement or contrast flavors of dishes from Turkey for a harmonious dining experience.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you can plan your next trip to Turkey and see how magnificent their culture, food, and drinks are.

If you like this article, please don’t forget to leave a thumbs up. And share this on your social media so other people can learn more about Turkish drinks. As always, have a great day!

Jamie Scott

Jamie Scott

Editor in Chief, Senior Content Writer


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Western Food Evaluation Expert


Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Gained foundational knowledge in French and European culinary techniques. Participated in workshops and hands-on training sessions under the guidance of seasoned chefs.

Local Community College, New York, NY

  • Program: Associate’s Degree in Nutrition
  • Focus: Acquired basic understanding of nutrition principles, dietary needs, and the importance of balanced diets in daily life.

Jamie Scott is a skilled culinary expert and content creator specializing in Western cuisine. With over 15 years in the culinary field and formal training from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Jamie deeply understands how to blend nutrition with delicious flavors. His passion for cooking matches his commitment to making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable.

On Fifteen.net, Jamie brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes and beverages, offering readers insightful recipes, cooking tips, and a fresh view on meal planning that emphasizes taste, health, and simplicity.

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