Between Raki and Beer: Drinking Habits in Turkey and Germany

by Nora

Sooner or later, you knew it would come up, the good old topic of alcohol: We all agree that this is an exchange between Turkish and German students 😉

Now, we will dive into the drinking habits of the two countries.

In Germany,

the most common alcoholic beverage is: BEER. It is made from starchy substances and according to the German purity law, first passed in 1516, only allowed to contain hops, malt, yeast and water. However there are many exceptions to this rule and the ingredients vary among different beer types. As you can see the country has a long tradition in brewing beers and beer really is more than a beverage, it is part of the German culture.

And, in Germany there are approximately 5000 types of beer! The popularity of these types however varies from region to region. For example, our Fachschaft Politik und Verwaltung consumes mostly the good (Haha :D) “Oettinger”-beer (Important note: this post is not sponsored). There are also a variety of fairs where drinking beer or in German: A Maß (=one liter beer) has become tradition (if you want to learn some Bavarian vocabulary for your next visit of the Oktoberfest, read here: Bayrisch für Anfänger). For example the Oktoberfest in Munich or the Canstatter Wasen in Stuttgart. Drinking alcohol in Germany is extremely common and also part of everyday life. Especially, beer is often consumed on its own and you don’t need something to go with it. Moreover, the legal drinking age for beers and wines in Germany is 16, however, for distilled spirits it is 18.

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Turkey,

has somehow stricter regulations on alcohol due to its legal drinking age of 18 years. Some of the Turkish people are teetotal meaning that they completely abstain from drinking alcohol. However, you can find alcoholic beverages in most parts of the country, especially in bigger cities. The national beverage is Raki, an anise- flavored alcoholic drink made from grapes, or sometimes figs or raisins. Raki is seldom consumed on its own, but rather with water in any form. You can either have a glass of water with it or mix it with water or ice cubes. The dilution with water results in a milky- white color drink. Because of that, Raki is often referred to be aslan sütü, meaning lion’s milk. This metaphor symbolizes Raki as a “milk for the strong”, because aslan means lion in Turkish and is also used to describe a strong man. Additionally, most of the time you consume Raki with food as an aperitif.

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Finally, at Istkon 2018 we look forward to nights filled with lots of laughter, good talks, Beer and Raki – Cheers! – Unknown

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