What soft drinks are available in Turkey?

What soft drinks are available in Turkey?

Turkey, a charming blend of history, culture, and zeitgeist, has a wide variety of local and global soft drink options available that perfectly complement their globally-renowned culinary culture. Whether you're enjoying a meal in Istanbul or relaxing in Antalya, you're likely to find an array of soft drinks that not only quench your thirst but also give you a taste of the country's unique flavor profiles and beverage traditions.

Turkish Indigenous Soft Drinks

The first part of this article will highlight the traditional or, indigenous, soft drinks that add a distinct character to the Turkish table, highlighting key features, notable figures, and the unique characteristics of each.

1. Ayran

The queen among the Turkish soft drinks, Ayran, is a yogurt-based drink, slightly salty, and traditionally served chilled. Believed to have originated from the nomadic Yörük Turks, it serves as a refreshing counterbalance to the rich flavors of Turkish cuisine. Ayran can be found in a variety of forms across eateries, from creamy versions served in traditional clay cups at kebab houses to carbonated, bottled versions in retail shops.

2. Şalgam Suyu

Şalgam Suyu, or Turnip Juice, is a deeply-colored, tangy drink made from fermented turnips, bulgur wheat, and a hint of purple carrots. While it might sound unusual for newcomers, it's a popular favourite amongst Turks, especially as a complement to Adana Kebabs or as a hangover cure! It originates from the southern city of Adana, and 'Özsüt Şalgam', a well-known manufacturer, is a brand to look out for whilst in the country.

3. Boza

Historically enjoyed by the Ottomans in winter, Boza has a thick, custard-like texture, a sweet-tangy taste, and is made from fermented grain, usually millet or corn. It's a rich source of probiotics and often served with a sprinkle of cinnamon and roasted chickpeas. In Istanbul, Vefa Boza, established in 1876, is a famous boza shop that is synonymous with this comforting drink.

Global Soft Drinks Available in Turkey

Despite boasting a plethora of indigenous beverages, Turkey also houses a broad variety of international soft drinks that have become favorites among locals and tourists alike.

1. Coca Cola

Global giant Coca Cola continues to maintain its popularity in Turkey. It even has a local plant, Coca-cola İçecek, one of the largest bottlers in the Coca-Cola System. Whether served by the glass in a street-side cafe or bought in its distinctive bottle at the supermarket, the familiar sweetness of Coca Cola is always within reach.

2. Pepsi

Coca Cola's traditional rival, Pepsi, has also etched its footprint in Turkey. Showcasing a sweeter taste profile, Pepsi resonates with those who prefer a softer carbonation and distinct lemon-citrus undertone.

3. Fanta

Available in an array of flavors from orange to sour cherry (vişne), Fanta offers a fruity, fizzy delight to all age groups. Both local and international versions of Fanta coexist and are widely available throughout the country.

Non-Alcoholic Beers

Even non-alcoholic beers have a place in Turkey's soft drink landscape. Brands like Efes Zero and Baltika offer the beer experience without the alcohol, making for a great companion to traditional Turkish snacks like Leblebi (roasted chickpeas) or Çiğ Köfte (a raw meatball dish).

To Conclude

Turkey's soft drink offerings are a mirror of its rich culinary heritage and global connectivity. With a range of both traditional and international beverages, Turkey offers something to suit every palate. From the salty refreshment of Ayran to the global comfort of Coca Cola, exploring the array of soft drinks in Turkey is an adventure in itself.

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