The Best Drink That Will Warm You in Winter is Salep

We welcome all readers who staying in winter Istanbul today. There is no snow on the street, but everyone around feels the winter atmosphere, which means it’s time for the most famous and warming winter drink – salep. On all the streets you can hear the call of the salep seller, which will warm any heart and drive the cold out of it.

Salep is a traditional old Turkish drink. It would seem that there is nothing so unusual about this drink. However, it is prepared from the powder of the roots of special types of orchids. How it is prepared, where to buy it and where to try it, read our article.

In winter, instead of vendors of roasted chestnuts and ice cream, you can see a lot of salep sellers right on the street. Their huge samovars roll all over the streets of Istanbul in search of freezing hands. Milk liquid is made from a mixture of salep flour, milk, water and sugar, and sometimes vanilla, orange or rose water is also added. Salep is generously sprinkled with cinnamon on top. Immediately after the first sip, you will feel how it warms you.

Its main ingredient is salep flour, which is made from dried wild orchid species. However, due to the threat of the disappearance of this plant, now you can often find salep, which is made from corn starch and a small proportion of Salep flour.

Salep was one of the most popular drinks of the Ottoman Empire and it is still drunk in many countries of Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

An interesting fact is that 1000 orchids are needed to produce 1 kilogram of flour. Just imagine how much it is.


If you’ve ever walked around Istiklal, you’ve probably seen those most famous ice cream makers who create a whole show with ordinary ice cream. This ice cream is very elastic because Salep flour is added to it.

In Turkish markets, you can often find a mixture for making this wonderful drink. If you don’t want to cook it yourself, then you can walk through the streets on a winter evening in search of a drink. Or we will offer you several places where you can try salep.

Salep Brands

Dondurmacı Ali Usta. There is sometimes a queue of those eager to buy the famous ice cream in the hot summer. And in winter, excellent hot drinks are served here, including fragrant salep. There is a cafe on the Asian side of the city.

Address: Moda Cad. N 264, Kadiköy.

Yeniköy Kahvesi. This cafe, like an oasis in the center of the stone town, offers guests a relaxing atmosphere in which you can enjoy a salep, and even with a view of the Bosphorus. Address: Kürkçü Faik Sok. No. 4, Yeniköy, Sariyer.

Keep warm by preparing the Turkish drink salep in the cold winter and be always healthy!

You can read this article in Russian language: Лучший напиток, который согреет вас зимой – salep

Anna Yablochkina

Hi, I'm Anna. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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