Caspian News has put together a list of ‘must try’ summer drinks for anyone traveling to the region this summer or may want to try making them at home.
This delicious, milk-based Azerbaijani favorite is sometimes a drink and at other times a soup, traditionally served at weddings and other special occasions. Each region of Azerbaijan prepares and serves dovgha with their own unique twists. Flavor, texture and digestive benefits are enhanced with the addition of egg, rice, peas and herbs. Cooks in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan’s exclave that is located between Armenia, Iran and Turkey, add small meatballs to the soup form of dovgha, while those from Shamakhi, located in east-central Azerbaijan, prefer kyavyar, a type of leek, and dagh keshnishi, mountain coriander, in theirs.
If there ever was a dairy, virgin version of a mojito, dough (also called doogh), is it. This classic Iranian drink consists of yogurt, water, cucumber and mint. Perfect on a hot summer’s day, this easy-to-make drink is similar to an Indian salted lassi, but thinner. Versions can be found all over the Middle East.
If stress has become an integral part of your life, then kvass might save you! This golden-brown beverage has the flavor of bread and beer and is one of the most popular drinks in Russia. Made from fermented black or rye bread, kvass is an excellent "cure" for nervousness, according to Russian consumers of the beverage. Brain activity is said to improve and help bring one’s nervous system into balance. Drinking kvass on a regular basis also helps stabilize the activity within the gastrointestinal tract and throughout the cardiovascular system, improves metabolism and prevents the development of pathogens.
This smooth and creamy yogurt-based beverage is made from mare’s milk, fermented until sour, and popular in the summer. Consumption of kumys throughout Central Asian countries is sometimes accompanied by rituals, especially when served to guests in a small ceramic bowl called a piyala. Probiotic characteristics of the drink means it has tremendous health benefits. Some say it kills germs that cause tuberculosis, and it positively affects intestinal microflora. In addition, kumys increases the digestibility of food and improves the functioning of the pancreas, which greatly helps metabolism.