When you’re sitting down for a filling meal, it’s always good to take some Azerbaijani drinks to go along with it. In the winter, tea is most commonly served, while sherbet is a refreshing summer drink.
Sherbet features sugar, lemon, saffron, mint, basil and fruits and berries. Water is infused with herbs, left to sit for several hours, and then the other ingredients are added. Sherbets are popular at weddings and other large events, served alongside pilaf.
This drink is made from yogurt mixed with salt and water, to make a smooth and savory drink. Ayran goes exceptionally well with kebabs and other heavy meat dishes, as a refreshing balance to the richness of the meat.
Black tea is the most common tea in Azerbaijan, often served with sugar, lemon, honey, jam, nuts and other small snacks. Many people love tea after a meal, to help your stomach digest and also since the slight bitterness complements the sweetness of dessert. Small curved glass cups are used, similar to Turkish glass tea cups. Tea is served to guests as a welcome, and many long conversations are held over endless pots of tea.
As with most countries in the former Soviet Union, compote is a common drink. Various types of fruit are boiled, and then sugar is added to make a refreshing and sweet fruity drink. Try local varieties of compote, or seasonal versions made with fresh fruits.