Ayran - Turkey's National Drink

When the average Houstonian thinks of something refreshing and thirst-quenching to get them through the heat and haze of summer months, they default to iced tea, frizzy soda or reliable H20. But in Turkey, they go straight to yogurt. And not just average yogurt—they dilute the dairy with water and salt—sometimes throwing in a dash of pickle juice. Don’t knock it till you try it! There’s a reason ayran was recently proclaimed Turkey’s national drink, and why it adorns almost every table during the long stretch from June to August. It’s a perfect complement to any thin-crust pizza or fresh salad at lunchtime, and after whipping up a batch yourself you’ll know why it hits the spot. Ayran basically is made by diluting yogurt with water and salt to a consistency of choosing; milky or frothy. Goat’s milk, cow’s milk or sheep’s milk are traditionally used across Turkey, subtly influencing the flavors of the meal.
By / Photography By Jenn Duncan | August 04, 2016


Whip yogurt on slow speed with an electric mixer, gradually adding 2 cups of icy cold water; continue blending until froth develops on top. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately, or keep refrigerated 1–2 days.

Afiyet olsun—or bon appétit, in Turkish!


  • About 2 cups natural, whole milk yogurt
  • 2 cups icy cold water
  • Salt to taste (1 teaspoon or more)
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