Ayran or airan is a drink made of yogurt and water, popular in parts of the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Ayran is a mixture of yogurt, water, and salt. It is thought to have originated as a way of preserving yogurt by adding salt. It is rumored to be a hangover cure.

It can also be made with cucumber juice in place of some or all of the water, or flavored with garlic.


Other names: Doogh, Ayrani., Airan, Tahn
Translations: 飲むヨーグルト, عيران, איירן, Аиран, Айран, Айран, Айран

Physical Description

It is a thin drink which is often covered in a fine foam. Ayran is traditionally served cool, and it may be shaken or whisked right before it is served to ensure that it is frothy.

Colors: White

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Sweet
Mouthfeel: Creamy
Food complements: Cucumber, Garlic
Wine complements: Sauvignon blanc
Substitutes: Yogurt, Milk

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Make your own, or buy pre-made, make sure they are not past the expiration date and unopened.
Buying: In the United States, it is available in Turkish, Persian, Armenian and other Middle Eastern stores under the names ayran, doogh, or tahn.
Procuring: Made from yogurt made from milk - typically cow, goat or sheep.

Preparation and Use

To make: Mix yogurt and water in blender until well blended. Add salt if desired. Start off with an 1/8 teaspoon salt and work your way up.

It may be seasoned with black pepper, although this is uncommon in Bulgaria, where ayran is also often served without salt. Another recipe popular in some regions includes finely chopped mint leaves mixed into the ayran. In countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, extra salt is added to give the drink the flavor of salt water and is often consumed in large quantities at Turkish eateries. In Turkey cucumber is cut into very small pieces and added to ayran or diluted yogurt with garlic to make cacik.

Conserving and Storing

It is a milk product, so store in the refrigerator. If homemade or opened, store in a tightly lidded container for up to a week.


It is popular in Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Lebanon, Bulgaria and other parts of the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central Asia.It is similar to Armenian tahn, Pakistani and Indian lassi, and Iranian doogh, though doogh can be naturally-carbonated. In Southern Cyprus and Greece, it is referred to as ayrani.

History: Ayran has been so popular in Turkey that it rivals the sales of the juice and soda industries. International fast-food companies, such as McDonald's, include Ayran in their standard menu.

In rural areas of Turkey, ayran is offered as a standard drink to welcome guests.



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