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Fresh ayran.jpg
Alternative names Doogh, Tan
Type Dairy product
Course Beverage
Region or state Asia
Serving temperature Cold
Main ingredients Yogurt, water, salt
Cookbook: Ayran  Media: Ayran
Bottle of carbonated tan sold in Yerevan, Armenia

Ayran, doogh or tan (Albanian: Dhallë, Persian: دوغ‎‎, Azerbaijani: ayran, Armenian: թան tan, Arabic: شنينة shinēna Turkish: ayran, Hellenic: αριάνι) is a cold yogurt beverage mixed with salt.[1][2] It is popular in Iran,[3] Turkey,[4] Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan,[2] North Caucasus,[5] the Balkans,[6] Afghanistan (by the Kirghiz)[7] and Lebanon.[8] Its primary ingredients are water and yogurt, and ayran has been variously described as "diluted yogurt"[4] and "a most refreshing drink made by mixing yogurt with iced water".[9]

Ayran is served chilled and often as an accompaniment to grilled meat or rice[10] especially during summer.[11]

Yogurt drinks are popular beyond the Middle East region—ayran has been likened by some to the South Asian lassi.[12]


According to Shirin Simmons, doogh has long been a popular drink and was consumed in ancient Persia (modern-day Iran).[13] Described by an 1886 source as a cold drink of curdled milk and water seasoned with mint,[14] its name derives from the Persian word for milking, dooshidan.[15]

According to Nevin Halıcı, ayran is a traditional Turkish drink and was consumed by nomadic Turks prior to 1000 CE.[4] According to Celalettin Koçak and Yahya Kemal Avşar (Professor of Food Engineering at Mustafa Kemal University), 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.[16]

A c. 1000 CE Turkish dictionary, Dīwān ul-Lughat al-Turk, defines ayran as a "drink made out of milk."[17]

Turkish national drink status[edit]

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a Turkish politician who has held the posts of President and Prime Minister, has promoted ayran as a national drink.[18] Speaking at a 2013 WHO Global Alcohol Policy Conference held in İstanbul, Erdoğan contrasted ayran with alcohol, which he suggested was a recent introduction to Turkey. Stating that in the early years of the modern Turkish republic (c. 1920-1950), alcoholic beverages were "part of the radical top-down modernization program embarked upon by the elites,"[18] Erdoğan expressed regret that alcohol was widely promoted during this period even in school textbooks.[18]

Still, sales of ayran in Turkey may lag behind other non-alcoholic beverages.[19] According to a 2015 joint statement from the Soft Drink Producers Association, the Sparkling Water Producers Association, and the Milk Producers and Exporters Union of Turkey, ayran consumption during the holy month of Ramadan has declined every year for the years 2010-15.[19]

In 2015, Turkey’s Customs and Trade Ministry imposed a 220,000 Turkish Lira fine (approx. $70,000) to state-owned Çaykur manufacturers for “insulting ayran” in one of their advertisement for iced tea, in which the protagonist raps that ayran makes him sleepy,[20] and halted advertisements of Çaykur's competing, ice-tea product.[20]


Dhallë is a traditional cold drink in Albania made of yogurt and water

Salt (and sometimes pepper) is added, and dried mint or pennyroyal can be mixed in as well. One variation includes diced cucumbers to provide a crunchy texture to the beverage. Some varieties of doogh have carbonation.

Similar beverages[edit]

  • Chal, fermented camel's-milk
  • Chalap, beverage consisting of fermented milk, salt, and carbonated water
  • Kefir, fermented milk drink made with yeast grains
  • Kumis, fermented mare's milk drink[4]
  • Lassi, yogurt-based drink from the Indian Subcontinent
  • Qatiq, fermented-milk beverage
  • Chaach, yogurt-based drink made with yogurt, salt and water, and occasional mint and coriander leaves

See also[edit]



  1. ^ A. Y. Tamime (ed.) (2008). Fermented Milks. John Wiley & Sons. p. 124. ISBN 9781405172387. 
  2. ^ a b Yildiz Fatih (2010). Development and Manufacture of Yogurt and Other Functional Dairy Products. CRC Press. p. 10. ISBN 9781420082081. 
  3. ^ Sarina Jacobson,Danya Weiner. Yogurt: More Than 70 Delicious & Healthy Recipes" Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2008. ISBN 1402747594 p 6
  4. ^ a b c d Halici, Nevin (27 April 2013). "Turkish Delights". Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies. University of California Press. 1 (1): 92–93. 
  5. ^ Smih, Sebastian (2006). Allah's Mountains: The Battle for Chechnya. Tauris Parke Paperbacks. p. 25. ISBN 9781850439790. 
  6. ^ Leslie Strnadel, Patrick Erdley (2012). Bulgaria (Other Places Travel Guide). Other Places Publishing. p. 58. ISBN 9780982261996. 
  7. ^ Nazif Shahrani, M. (2013). The Kirghiz and Wakhi of Afghanistan. 9780295803784: University of Washington Press. pp. 92–93. 
  8. ^ A. Y. Tamime (ed.) (2008). Fermented Milks. John Wiley & Sons. p. 96. ISBN 9781405172387. 
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ "Turkish Buttermilk". www.kultur.gov.tr. Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  11. ^ Gina Husamettin. "Ayran – Turkish national beverage". balkon3.com. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Heyhoe, Kate. The ABC's of Larousse Gastronomique : ayran
  13. ^ Simmons, Shirin (2007). Treasury of Persian Cuisine. Stamford House Publishing. ISBN 1-904985-56-4. 
  14. ^ Grosart, Alexander (17 July 1886). "Soor-doock" and "doogh". The Academy and literature. 30. Blackburn. p. 59. 
  15. ^ Islamic Republic of Iran (26–29 January 2009). Project Document for a Regional Standard for Doogh (CX/NEA 09/5/8) (PDF). Tunis, Tunisia: United Nations. Joint FAO/WHO food standards programme of the FAO/WHO coordinating committee for the Near East. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  16. ^ Kocak, C., Avsar, Y.K., 2009. Ayran: Microbiology and Technology. In: Yildiz, F. (Ed.), Development and Manufacture of Yogurt and Functional Dairy Products. CRC Press, Boca Raton, U.S., pp. 123–141
  17. ^ "Ayran". Etimoloji Türkçe (in Turkish). Telif Hakları. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  18. ^ a b c "PM says Turkey's national drink is ayran, not beer". Zaman. 27 April 2013. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. 
  19. ^ a b "Turks turn away from 'national drink' despite Erdoğan". Zaman. 22 June 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. 
  20. ^ a b Çelikkan, Erdinç (9 November 2015). "State-owned tea firm fined 220,000 liras for 'insulting ayran' in ads". Hürriyet.