One of the sections of our cuisine rich in a diversity of types is drinks. Tinctures (“arag”) are made from mulberry and other plants and are used especially for medical treatment purposes. “Arag” in our language means “white drink” (ag – white, ar – drink, “ir” in the word “kefir” also means drink). On the other hand, the word “ar” originates from “arınmış” and means also pure and purified.
Various types of alcohol-free medical treatment tinctures, infusions, and other distillations are prepared from various plants by means of distillation. As an example, a tincture made from mint, “gyulabi” (rose water), “chal arag” made from mixed herbs may be shown. Since ancient times, “buza” (beer) has also been prepared in Azerbaijan. The Russian word “buzit” also originated from this word.
As in other Turkish cuisines, there are many drinks such as “ayran”, “atlama”, “bulama” made from milk and sour-milk products. Different types of sherbets are prepared from fruit juices, various types of herb infusions, and sugar. Sherbets are mainly served together with pilaf and are drunk at holidays and parties. Drinks such as "ovshala", "gandab", "dog-rose water", "salab" not only decorate our tables but also have treatment features.
Tea has its special place in Azerbaijani cuisine. It is impossible to imagine the table without tea. Coffee and cocoa are used less as compared with tea. In the morning's hot milk and drinks prepared from milk are served.
Azerbaijani mineral waters such as “Istisu”, “Badamly” and “Sirab” etc. are famous. They are served to quench thirst; at the same time have treatment characteristics.
Drinks made from thick bakmaz cooked from mulberry juice, watermelon, sugar cane, beetroot, grape, wild dates quench thirst, at the same time are considered to be useful for health. A drink called “iskanjabi” is served together with “heavy” meals in order to quench thirst and facilitate the digestion of heavy and fatty meals; it is prepared from a mixture of honey and vinegar.
In some sources, it is called “vinegar honey”. Sometimes sugar is used instead of honey.
In our cuisine, “khoshab”s (stewed fruits-compotes) and “paloud”s (kissel) are related not too sweet meals, but to drinks. However, of course, the best drinks are the icy waters of Azerbaijani springs.