The global novel coronavirus pandemic may have grounded us, but we can still enjoy happy hour. This daily series will provide delicious drink recipes for you to try at home. So call your friends for a virtual sip session and traverse the globe, even if it's only in your mind.
Today's cocktail hails from Turkey – Ayran.
What is it?
Cut through summer heat and spicy food with this cold, salty yogurt drink. It’s consumed all over the eastern Mediterranean – though Turkey takes special national pride in it.
Ayran is at least a thousand years old. With no refrigeration, fresh milk was given a longer life by being made into yogurt; the addition of salt helped preserve it even longer and made it more delicious. Ayran has long since become ubiquitous in Turkey – it’s on the menu at McDonald’s – though the city of Susurluk is especially renowned for its Ayran, creamy but also delightfully foamy on top.
16fl oz (500ml) yogurt
16fl oz (500ml) cold water
2 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
large pinch dried mint (optional)
6 ice cubes
Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Alternatively, stir together yogurt, water, salt and the optional mint in a pitcher and pour over ice.
You’re a few bites into a spicy round of lahmacun, that snack of thin dough topped with ground meat. Or you’ve just polished off a few tender morsels of Adana kebab. What do you reach for to quench your thirst? The answer, any Turk will tell you, is Ayran – in a hefty mug or from a bottle or foil-topped cup (shake both well, to froth them up). Ayran looks plain, but it works on many levels. The salt complements the meat. The dairy cools chilli heat. The yogurt critters help digestion. And, perhaps best of all, the sour flavour triggers your salivary glands and makes you dig back in to your meal.