Armenia has diverse culture, cuisine, and beverages, including several non-alcoholic options that are fun to try while visiting the country.
Jermuk mineral water
This spring water, made in the resort town of Jermuk, used to be one of the most popular soft drinks in the Soviet Union. The water runs from the mountain springs in the town and is believed to have healing properties, which has helped make the town among the most famous balneological resorts of the Soviet era, along with Karlovy Vary, Zhelenovodsk, and Borjomi. Travelers who don’t have time to make the trip to Jermuk can buy the bottled water in most every store across the country.
Tan is the Armenian cousin of the Turkish Ayran drink. Made with water, salt, and Armenian yogurt, it’s popular among locals. The main ingredient is the local yogurt called Matsun, which is a fermented milk product widely used in the Caucasus. A chilled Tan is always a tasty treat on a hot summer day, or try it mixed with finely chopped greens, diced cucumber, and spring onions.
This traditional Slavic and Baltic beverage is usually made from rye bread, which is the reason for its dark color. Traditional kvass is not flavored, but you can find it infused with fruits and herbs, such as strawberries and mint.
Coffee and Tea
Armenian coffee is similar to Turkish coffee. It is very strong and is sometimes served with a glass of cold water to eliminate the bitter aftertaste. Tea is not a popular hot beverage among Armenians, but when they do drink it, they often prefer the local version of infused dried herbs, such as hypericum, thyme, and mint. It’s also often enriched with ginger, cloves, sugar, or canella.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated in Caucasus Mountains. It’s made by combining kefir grains with cow, goat, sheep, or some non-dairy milks. It’s a good source of calcium and is rich in probiotics.
This lemonade is flavored with tarragon. Georgian pharmacist Mitrofan Lagidze created the fizzy drink in Tbilisi 1887, but it didn’t become popular with the masses until the 1980s. Tarhun is often dyed green, and it tastes a bit like licorice. It’s extremely popular in Georgia, Russia, and, of course, Armenia.
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