Drinks you will have chance to taste only in Kyrgyzstan!
In Kyrgyz Republic, as in any other country you will come across popular drinks as Coca – Cola, popular beers as Heineken, or Ice Tea made by Lipton. But actually there is something more than this. Kyrgyz republic has got particularly beloved drinks, which are their national drinks, and you will not get them in any other place in the world. So read carefully in order to remember what to try, during your travel. You can`t miss it!
- Tea – Kyrgyz society drinks more black than green tea. It is really common to drink it every day and it can be served in many different ways. In the North of Kyrgyzstan, hosts prepare strong tea, then they pour it to a coup (or a small bowl) and mix it with hot water. Tea is usually served by the hostess – the host will never do it. In the South they will serve you your tea directly from a pot. Also don`t be surprised if you get asked by your hosts if you want some milk in your tea. They love to mix it!
- Arak – is the most popular form of strong alcohol. The most dangerous type of this drink is called Samogonka – especially strong, homemade vodka !
- Chalap – it is a drink made from kurut (small white balls made of sheep’s milk), mixed with water. You can come across this drink mostly in rural areas.
- Kumys – is a drink which especially is beloved by Kyrgyz nomads. It is made from fermented mare’s milk. A must try for everyone who comes to Kyrgyzstan!. The best Kumys you will get in remote mountain regions as Sun-kul. If hosts offer you kumys – you have to drink it, otherwise they may feel offended. What is the process of making Kumys? The mare`s milk is stored in animal skins called chinach that were firstly cleaned and smoked over a fire, in order to give the drink unique smell and taste. What is more – milk left from yesterday won`t be wasted – they will use it the day after, mix it with fresh milk, and live it to ferment during the day in the warmth of the yurt. Then it is churned with a wooden stick and becomes alcoholic. Watch out don`t drink too much of Kumys – you may get drunk! Interesting story behind kumys being good for health is that, in 1840`s, Russian doctors discovered some curative properties of the drink and began to use it in order to cure tuberculosis, anemia, lung diseases, gynecological diseases and skin diseases. After a while even some sanatoria were built in order to treat patients with fresh Kyrgyz air and kumys. One of many patients was Lev Tolstoy, Maxim Gorky, and even members of the imperial family. One disadvantage of true, real, traditional kumys is that, it can be stored for only up to 3 days. If you are not used to this kind of beverages, don’t drink too much of it, otherwise you might have stomach problems.
- Bozo – an alcoholic drink made from boiled, fermented millet grains – sometimes called “Kyrgyz beer”.
- Maksim – is a drink made of wheat, which Kyrgyz people drink in summer. They find it not only very refreshing but also healthy. Sometimes locals can call it Jarmah. In Summer time you can get it almost on every corner, every street of Bishkek – it is sold in Barrels of Shoro company.