Ayran is a popular Turkish drink made of a yoghurt and water. The ayran made from sheep yoghurt has a quite thick taste, fatty but also delicious. It is very similar to the Iranian drink, Doogh and Armenian drink, Taan. Salt is usually added to ayran for flavour. It is served cool, and usually accompanies doner, kebab or pastry. Some forms of fresh ayran include some foam.
In Turkey McDonalds also includes ayran in their standard menu as a local menu addition. Ayran is also very popular elsewhere in the Middle East. In rural areas of Turkey, ayran is offered as a "standard" drink to guests. "We have come to drink your ayran" say the guests.
Another recipe common to Turkey includes finely chopped mint leaves mixed into the Ayran. This variation is particularly popular during summertime in Turkey and is considered very refreshing. Ayran has become so popular in Turkey that it is often regarded as a separate market in contrast to the juice and soda industries, and is a challenge for "modern" soft-drink companies such as Coca-Cola.
Pour yoghurt into a bowl and beat until smooth, add water and continue beating until thoroughly blended, or combine in an electric blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and dried mint. Chill thoroughly and serve in tall glasses, with ice.