Ayran is a super refreshing and healthy Turkish drink made from yogurt. Salty yogurt, water and salt frothed up to beautiful perfection. Ready in 2 minutes. It goes perfectly with kebabs and any spicy meal.
Yogurt is a staple ingredient in several Turkish recipes. When life gives us yogurt, we make yogurt drink ayran, cucumber cacik dip or rice yogurt soup.
What is Ayran?
It is a simple mixture of yogurt, water and salt. Although non-Turkish people are likely to consider it as a summer drink probably because it is refreshing, this easy savory yogurt drink can’t be limited to one season.
People in Turkey drink it all year round pairing with anything from menemen (eggs with tomatoes) to their favorite borek, cheese stuffed phyllo sheets or pide stuffed with ground beef.
We eat a lot of yogurt alongside the dishes we have for lunch or dinner. For example, it’s very common in Turkey that you have simit, Turkish style bagel and ayran for lunch. So it won’t be wrong to say that it is as common as water here.
Although it might sound similar to Indian lassi, it's different because no sugar is included in this Turkish version yogurt drink.
How to Make Ayran
Although you can easily find it at supermarkets, I think you’d better make it at home because you need three ingredients and it’s ready just in two minutes. Plus, you can adjust the measurements to your taste and how thick you’d like your drink.
I think you can get the best consistency with 2 cups yogurt and 1 cup water. The amount of salt depends on your taste. My choice would be ½ teaspoon.
The only thing you need to do is to place these three ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a blender, you can use an electric hand mixer. Don’t worry if you don’t have either of them. Put the ingredients in a jar, tighten the lid and shake until smooth.
Which Yogurt is Used?
If you make yogurt at home, it is the best. You can definitely use store-bought yogurt as well. Just make sure it’s not sweetened. You can use Greek yogurt too but you will probably need to add extra water as it is thicker.
How to Make Ayran Foam
If you want a lot of foams on top of your ayran, you can substitute sparkling water for water in the recipe. There will be no difference in taste. On the other hand, I don’t think the foams are that important. The tangy and salty taste matters more for me.
How Healthy is It?
Besides being a wonderful thirst-quincher, this Turkish yogurt drink is very healthy too. For one thing, it is good for your digestive system, gut flora and a good source of protein and calcium thanks to yogurt. Also, it’s the best treat when your body dehydrate and lose salt during summer months.
Ayran for Weight loss?
I’ve seen so many Turkish articles claiming that yogurt and the drink made of it helps weight loss. I’m not an expert on this but it’s obviously way better than sweetened drinks. It doesn’t contain sugar, which makes it healthy and I’m sure helps weight loss for those who drinks something sweet daily. What’s more, it helps you feel full for a longer time.
How to Drink It
Ayran is mainly the mixture of yogurt, cold water and salt, but there are some variations. The most popular one is produced in Susurluk, a small town in the West of Turkey. What makes its ayran special is that it’s so frothy. You can imagine how it’s fun to drink it! The first part you have is its froth on the top and then you reach ayran.
In some places, a few sprigs of fresh mint is added to give it more freshness and it becomes like a different drink with this combination! I prefer my ayran plain if I’m having it with some food, but I love to add fresh mint into it if I’m drinking it just for pleasure.
Tourists visiting Turkey might have interesting reactions when they first drink ayran. Although they know the taste of yogurt, some might have difficulty to get used to it. And when they start loving it, they always order it in restaurants.
Which Foods to Serve with Turkish Yogurt Drink?
Although you can always have it on its own, here are some of my favorite foods to eat with it: Lahmacun, Gozleme, Lamb Shish Kabob and Chicken Doner Kebabs.
More Yogurt Recipes
Other Turkish Drinks
As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!
Sign up for the FREE GiveRecipe Newsletter to get the new recipes into your inbox! And stay in touch with us on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram for all the latest updates.
Ayran Turkish Yogurt Drink
A super refreshing healthy yogurt drink that is not sweet but savory.
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Total Time: 2 minutes
- Yield: 3 1x
- Category: Drinks
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: Turkish
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 cup cold water
- ½ teaspoon salt, adjust to your taste
- Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Serve cold optionally with fresh mint springs.
If you use Greek yogurt, you will probably need to add extra water for the desired consistency.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 100
- Sugar: 7.6 g
- Sodium: 465.9 mg
- Fat: 5.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 7.6 g
- Protein: 5.7 g
- Cholesterol: 21.2 mg
Keywords: ayran, ayran drink, yogurt drink, turkish ayran
Candy Swart says
I love Ayran. I really can't remember how I discovered it. I make it at home daily with Greek yoghurt and soda water
I would love to get your recipes.
I have visited Greece several times and love their food and make it often.
Zerrin & Yusuf says
We sometimes use sparkling water too! Ayran is a great drink to pair with several dishes, right?
Turkish and Greek cuisines have a lot in common. Both are full of delicious food.
Hope you enjoy our recipes when you try them.
Delicious!! Thank you very much!
Quick questions: Can you use ayran as a "base" to make more ayran? Or perhaps mix it with plain yogurt as part of the recipe?
I noticed that certain imported ayran lists good bacteria strains not found in plain yogurt or even local store-bough ayran. I also notice it has a distinct taste that I really enjoy 🙂
Zerrin & Yusuf says
Glad you liked our ayran recipe!
As for your questions, yes you can just add more yogurt, water and salt to any leftover ayran.
Not sure what bacteria the store bought versions have that is not in plain yogurt. But basically, ayran is made with yogurt, water and salt.
Some like their ayran thicker, some thinner. So you can make adjustments about the ratio to your taste.
Just to let you know that Ayran is not Turkish only 😉 it is a very famous drink in Middle East in general especially among Persians and Kurds too! I am a Kurd and we call it Mastaw (meaning Yogurt and Water). It is our traditional drink too and we refer to it as Kurdish Beer sometimes 😅 We make dishes with it as well that we call it Qurraw. We have (Do) also, which is the well shaken (To be shaken one hour or more) yogurt and water. After separating the butter we drink the remaining which is basically the water and the yougurt without the fat (butter) and we have a special dish made for winter with it we call it Danadwa or Doyna with is a Mixer of Do and grinned wheat.
Thank you so much for your contributition! Didn't know that ayran is that common in Kurdish culture too.
In Afghanistan it often includes tiny bits of cucumber and plenty of dried mint which adds so much. Best yogurt is a tart variety that is NOT dry like a Greek style yogurt.
Hello from Turkey. Ayran with cucumber and dried mint is called "cacık" here. They are two different things.
Vivienne Yaylaci says
Absolutely love Ayran Im South African married to Turkish and our staple drink is Ice cold Ayran . Best drink on a hot summers day refreshing and filling too. Its even more special when you use your home made yogurt which my turkish mother in law taught me when I lived in Turkey.
Hi Vivienne! Ayran is definetely best with homemade yogurt! Glad you like it as much as we do.
My husband loves ayran, he gets it everytime we eat something in the Turkish restaurant. I've never thought about making it at home, so easy and delicious!
Hi Adina! I'm sure he'll LOVE it when you make it at home. So easy and tasty! Perfect when it's too hot outside.
OMG. This is really great! I just learned 1 Turkish drink and it's super easy and healthy?
I'd better to stop typing and get started my first Ayran right now!!!
Thanks a lot!!!
Aysegul Sanford says
Oh how I wish I could have a big cold glass of ayran right now. And that video.. Such a fun and modern presentation. LOVE!!!
I'll make you a big jug when we first meet. I promise! Glad you like the video!