It is THE soft drink of summer: Ayran! It’s a tasty yogurt drink with a long tradition in Turkey, which many international guests have never heard of. Through the activities offered at TUI BLUE hotels, you get the opportunity to learn about the Turkish national drink and prepare it yourself. We were there for you!
When I arrived at the TUI bar at TUI BLUE Palm Garden, everything was already prepared: Bowls, glasses with yogurt, milk, salt, and water were already waiting. Yusuf was the BLUE Guide who was going to teach us how to make Ayran. He was already expecting me and the other registered participants, who had met at the rendezvous point. After a brief welcome, Yusuf told us some interesting things about the Turkish traditional drink: Where Ayran originally comes, or when it was invented, is not known exactly. However, it is geographically associated with the Caucasus and was allegedly discovered by the nomadic people of the Gök-Turks between 552 and 742 A.D. They mixed soured yogurt with water and made a slightly salty drink.
In the basic recipe of Ayran, one thing is for sure: you need yogurt, water, and salt. Yusuf still had an insider tip. He added half a glass of milk. Even variations with mint, lemon, or basil as flavoring are well known and popular – but we made the classic version. Seven pairs of hands waited to get started with the Ayran production! Yusuf led the way and we followed his example. Here we go!
Making Ayran – how it works!
1. First, we poured the plain yogurt in a large glass bowl. Yusuf quietly added that one should use natural, full-fat yogurt – the product tastes better. He stirred the yogurt with a fork until it got a creamy consistency and then watched us; we had to completely break up all the little clumps.
2. Now add half a glass of milk. Again, we started to vigorously mix the two ingredients – endurance is necessary here! A quick look at my neighbor’s bowl told me that I was on the right track with my mixture of milk and yogurt.
3. Next, we poured a whole glass of still water in the bowl (approximately 300-350ml). What came next was not surprising: stirring. Here, the pace got faster; there were air bubbles and a kind of foam rising. Again, Yusuf thoroughly checked the contents of all the participants’ bowls and grinned: “Don’t give up! A little beating builds muscles!”
4. Now salt was missing! “You can add salt as you like, depending on your preference. For our quantity we need about half a teaspoon,” said Yusuf, stirring again to distribute the salt properly. He then fetched a trowel for each participant so we could fill glasses with our homemade Ayran and ice cubes to enjoy it together. Smooth and clean – the cool summer drink was ready.
And how did it taste?
Different – but good! I think my homemade Ayran was definitely a success and was a welcome change to sweet summer punch bowls, lemonade, and cocktails. The drink is a real thirst quencher and probably still healthy – it contains so many minerals. It also seemed tasty to the other participants: We stood around for a while, laughing and chatting, and before I knew it I had sipped my glass empty. I will definitely do this again at home!
The TUI BLUE course “Turkish Drinks” is organized regularly in TUI BLUE Palm Garden and TUI BLUE Sarigerme Park. It’s easy for you to register for this activity via the app or at the front desk of your hotel.
So, enjoy yourself while mixing and Ayran-slurping!