Wine | Şarap
Wine has been produced in Turkey for six thousand years. In fact, the ancient Pre-Hittite word for wine was ‘vino.’ Archaeological records suggest that cultivation of the domesticated grape occurred between 6,000 – 8,000 years ago in Turkey’s Black Sea Region. With the rise of the Roman Empire, wine spread across the globe through trade, conquest and cultural exchange. Istanbul, once the capital of the Roman Empire, fell to the Ottoman Turks 1453 AD. Under the Ottoman reign, wine drinking was banned for most of the subsequent five hundred years. What little wine was produced during this time was made by the small Christian and Jewish populations. By the end of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish wine culture had evaporated. Today, the wine industry has made a resurgence but is not as developed as other European countries in the region.
Indulge in more Refreshing Turkish Beverages
Ayran | Salted Yoghurt
Ayran is a yoghurt based beverage. Although there is no evidence to the origins of ayran, it is believed to have originated in Southern Anatolia as a way to preserve yoghurt.
Lemonade | Limonata
Lemonade is called limonata in Turkish. The ancient Egyptians developed the first lemonade around 500 AD. The beverage was so valued that it was only allowed to be consumed by the Pharaoh.
Raki | Rakı
Raki is considered by many as the national alcoholic beverage of Turkey. Unlike beer or wine, which are produced by fermentation, raki is produced from distilled raisins and aniseed.
Turkish Coffee | Kahve
Coffee is said to have been introduced to Turkey by Ottoman Governor Özdemir Pasha. Istanbul’s first coffeehouse was opened in 1554. Today, coffee persists as an important part of the social and cultural experience.
Turkish Tea | Çay
Turkish tea is an important part of the Turkish culture. Offered to guests as a symbol of friendship and hospitality, it is served in homes, tea gardens and cafes throughout the country.
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