After Erdogans rhetoric that Ayran should be Turkeys national Drink and not Rakı, I found myself in agreement with the PM something I am unused to.
For those that see this as a step closer to banning Alcohol in Turkey I don’t really see that coming to pass. With elections drawing nearer, he can’t afford to have 1000’s unemployed and leaving a huge dent in the coffers from loss of taxes and tourism. But that is a different debate and one better left to the political minds.
However it does look set that Rakı will be recognised as the national drink of Turkey, if the application of Turkey’s Traditional Alcoholic Beverage Producers Association (GİSDER), to the European Union Commission Codex, to patent Rakı as Turkey’s national drink goes through.
But having listened to his words, which where more about Alcoholic consumption I found myself agreeing having lived here some time now, that apart from Çay, Ayran is probably the next most popular drink in Turkey.
So why should Ayran be the National Drink?
Rakı – This is often the first thought of by many if asked what Drink is Turkey’s National Drink? But Rakı, has many cousins around the world, include Ouzo and Sambuca and not consumed in great quanities, classically being only drank with, Meze or Fish meals.
Çay – Çay is drank by the gallon everyday in Turkey and has to be the most drunk beverage of Turkey. However Çay is not really original to Turkey and isn’t the only nation to consume it by the gallon. As English speakers we refer to it as Turkish Tea (Çay) as an easy way to distinguish it from tea drank with milk. And I think that if any country had dips of Tea as its national drink it has to be Britain.
Coca-Cola – Why mention this, well it is very popular here in Turkey and almost a substitute at the dinner table for wine. But it could never be a national drink being American produced and I really think that health wise Coca-Cola is as bad for you as drinking Alcohol in excess. I wonder if Mr Erdogan will ever debate the affects Coca-Cola is having on his nation health!
Efes Beer – Ok we all know the national drink could never be beer and it certainly wouldn’t appear on the PM’s list. But like “to Google” now means to search. In Turkey Efes is almost code for beer and nothing to do with Ephesus! But I felt I would be doing a miss service if I didn’t mention Efes in my list as it has become the Tourists favourite.
Turkish Coffee – It is tough competition between Ayran and Turkish Coffee, this small espresso like Coffee is very symbolic in Turkey. The Ottomans brought coffee back from Ethiopia and it was the Ottomans who first roast coffee beans to bring about this unique coffee. Drank traditionally after breakfast or after a meal with friends served with something sweet like Turkish Delight this ancient old drink deserves to have top billing on the list. But still does not come in first place for me though it is very close! More Turkish Coffee Facts
So this bring me to Ayran – The big frothy glasses of Ayran are a classic image of Turkey. This healthy drink is made with a mixture of Yoghurt, Water and Salt, it is a perfect drink on hot summer days, to rehydrate with. It can be drunk with any meal and on its own and can be bought pre-made or easily made at home. It can be even be found in the fast food chains like MacDonalds and Burger King in Turkey because of its popularity. Yes there are similar drinks to Ayran throughout the Arabic World, but Turkey is the largest producers and consumers of Ayran in the world. Click here to find out how to make Ayran!
For me there is no doubt who the winner has to be and thats Ayran. But it seems it is not be and Rakı will be the national drink. It seems me and Mr Erdogan wont be seeing Ayran as our National Drink!
Which drink do you think should be Turkey’s National Drink??
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