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Fresh susurluk ayranı with a head of froth
Alternative names Laban, Doogh, katık, qeshk
Type Dairy product
Course Beverage
Place of origin Turkic Central Asia
Creator Turkic people
Serving temperature Cold
Main ingredients Yogurt, water, salt
Cookbook: Ayran 

Ayran is a cold yogurt beverage mixed with salt.[1] In addition to Turkey, where it is considered a national drink, ayran can be found in other neighboring regions, including Azerbaijan, Iran, and Arab countries.[note 1]

Its primary ingredients are water and yogurt, and ayran has been variously described as "diluted yogurt"[3] and "a most refreshing drink made by mixing yogurt with iced water".[4]

Ayran is served chilled and often as an accompaniment to grilled meat or rice[5] especially during summer.[6]

Similar beverages include the Iranian doogh,[7] but yogurt drinks are popular beyond the Middle East region—ayran has been likened by some to the South Asian lassi.[8]


  • History 1
  • Contemporary ayran 2
  • Etymology 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5


Ayran is a traditional Turkish drink and was consumed by nomadic Turks prior to 1000 CE.[3] Some think ayran was first developed thousands of years ago by the Göktürks, who would dilute bitter yogurt with water in an attempt to improve its flavor.[9]

The meaning of Ayran, defined in the Dīwān ul-Lughat al-Turk (1070 AD) dictionary as "drink made out of milk" for the first time.[10]

Contemporary ayran

Ayran is ubiquitous in Turkey and offered at almost all places that serve drinks, including fast-food restaurants, such as McDonald's and Burger King.[11]

The town of Susurluk is well known in Turkey for its ayran, which characteristically has a foamy head and creamy taste.[12][13]


Some Turkish language dictionaries state the word ayran derives from Old Turkish for buttermilk.[14]

See also

Similar beverages


  1. ^ A. Y. Tamime (ed.) (2008). Fermented Milks. John Wiley & Sons. p. 124.  
  2. ^ For popularity in Armenia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan see Yildiz Fatih (2010). Development and Manufacture of Yogurt and Other Functional Dairy Products. CRC Press. p. 10.  
    • For use in Afghanistan by Kirghiz, see Nazif Shahrani, M. (2013). The Kirghiz and Wakhi of Afghanistan. 9780295803784: University of Washington Press. pp. 92–93. 
    • For Lebanon, see A. Y. Tamime (ed.) (2008). Fermented Milks. John Wiley & Sons. p. 96.  
    • For presence in the North Caucasus, see Smih, Sebastian (2006). Allah's Mountains: The Battle for Chechnya. Tauris Parke Paperbacks. p. 25.  
  3. ^ a b c Turkish Delights Nevin Halici Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Winter 2001), pp. 92-93 Published by: University of California Press Article DOI: 10.1525/gfc.2001.1.1.92
  4. ^ Lake Van and Turkish Kurdistan: A Botanical Journey P. H. Davis The Geographical Journal, Vol. 122, No. 2 (Jun., 1956), pp. 156-165 Published by: The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Article DOI: 10.2307/1790844
  5. ^ "Turkish Buttermilk". Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Gina Husamettin. "Ayran – Turkish national beverage". Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  7. ^ Yildiz Fatih (2010). Development and Manufacture of Yogurt and Other Functional Dairy Products. CRC Press. p. 10.  
  8. ^ Heyhoe, Kate. The ABC's of Larousse Gastronomique : ayran
  9. ^ Yildiz Fatih (2010). Development and Manufacture of Yogurt and Other Functional Dairy Products. CRC Press. pp. 123 & 125.  
  10. ^
  11. ^ For ayran at Turkish McDonalds, see "İçecekler: Ayran (250 ml)". McDonalds Turkey. Anadolu Restoran İşletmeleri Ltd. Şti. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
    • For ayran at Turkish Burger King, see "İçim Ayran - Burger King Sultan Menü". Burger King Turkey. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Fame of foamy ayran goes beyond borders". Hürriyet Daily News. Hürriyet - Doğan Yayın Holding. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "City Guide > Balıkesir > Don't Leave Without". Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "Ayran". Tehlif Hakları. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  1. ^ Ayran is present in the Balkans, some CIS countries, and the Middle East. Countries and regions where ayran has been reported include: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, the Balkans, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, and the North Caucasus.[2]
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