Local Bites

Try some different drinks on sailing holidays in Turkey

By Jenny Wilson
on  September 22, 2015

Turkish cuisine is well known for its exotic influences from a diverse assortment of regions, but Turkey also offers an interesting variety of drinks to its visitors. Going on sailing holidays in Turkey is a good opportunity to try some new flavours that will stimulate the most jaded of palates.

Turkey sailing experiences - Discover new drinks

Turkey is famous for its coffee, which is rich, dark and has a wonderful aroma. Despite its appearance it is not particularly bitter, as it is often made by boiling ground coffee beans with sugar. It might smell very strong and can be fairly viscous, but the grounds will settle to the bottom and the coffee can be surprisingly light. Drinking coffee is an important part of Turkey’s extremely sociable cafe culture, where sitting with friends for a chat is as important as the actual drink.

Tea is also very widely drunk and is the drink you are most likely to be served if you are browsing in the local markets. Apple tea, known as elma cay, is not really a tea as you might know it; instead, it is a hot fruity drink made from a powder. Served in small tulip-shaped glasses, elma cay is not widely drunk by locals but is popular with visitors and is quite delicious. If you are visiting in winter, then try to find some sahlep. This is a sweet milky drink made from orchid roots and served sprinkled with cinnamon.

During the hot summer months many Turks enjoy ayran, which is a mixture of yogurt, water and salt. This drink is a bit of an acquired taste but extremely refreshing. Turkey’s national drink is raki, which is similar to pastis or Greek ouzo. The clear liquid is usually served quite cold and with a little water. This turns it cloudy, hence its local name of ‘lion’s milk’. Raki is commonly served with mezze, Turkish starters, and after a meal. A popular saying is Turkey is ‘Raki is the answer. Now, what was the question?’; however, in small amounts this is a most enjoyable spirit that you will soon develop a taste for.

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