Ariani Is The Creamy Greek Drink That Makes Yogurt The Star

glasses of ayran
glasses of ayran - Mescioglu/Getty Images

In the United States, beverages that heavily feature yogurt are typically sweet treats enjoyed for breakfast or after a meal. However, there are many yogurt-based drinks around the world, and numerous take on savory flavors. A widespread — and ancient — variant of drinkable yogurt is ayran. Consumed since 1000 B.C., this refreshing beverage, which features only three ingredients, is enjoyed across Central Asia, the Balkans, and the Middle East. It is especially popular in Turkey, hence why it is frequently referred to by its Turkish name, ayran.

However, this type of yogurt is found in many guises, including a version in Greece, where the drink is known as ariani. Introduced by the Turks, it is one of the many Greek dishes shared between the two nations. Its preparation is simple: equal parts yogurt and water, plus a sprinkling of salt, are blended together. The result is wondrously refreshing and creamy, making the drink's enduring appeal easy to understand.

Read more: 15 Boba Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

Ariani Is A Simple And Thirst-Quenching Drink

ayran in copper mug
ayran in copper mug - Esin Deniz/Getty Images

The magic of ariani rests in the flavor of its yogurt base. Since it hails from the Mediterranean, it likely comes as no surprise that Greek yogurt is employed for the job. This variety is thicker due to an extra straining step, which also explains why Greek yogurt is more sour. With the addition of water, the yogurt's thick texture becomes less relevant; however, that tangy, protein-rich quality contributes to ariani's flavor.

In addition to being available in various milk fat percentages, ariani is occasionally made with other milk bases, such as buffalo milk. Some purchase the drink already bottled, while others procure yogurt and adjust ratios to their taste. The amount of salt is a common variation, and some also incorporate mint.

Ariani is typically served cold, sometimes over ice. Some drink it casually during the day, especially after physical exertion. Others consume it to aid digestion before a meal, and it can also accompany food. A palatable balance of tangy and salty, ariani hits a note similar to electrolyte beverages, but with a creamy dairy undertone.

Read the original article on Tasting Table