Today, it is also legally drunk in those places. Yet, it is also legal to drink alcohol on beaches and parks in Istanbul. In addition, you can buy your drink and organize barbecues or birthday parties at home. You can buy your alcohol on the Bosphorus dinner cruise, organized for special days such as Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve. It is legal to drink on dinner cruises; you just need to buy them when you get on board.
However, buying alcohol was recently banned due to the Covid-19. The sale of alcohol products is prohibited in Istanbul within the scope of Covid-19 measures. It has been decided that the places that exclusively sell alcohol will be closed during the full closure periods throughout the province, and those products will not be sold in places such as markets, grocery stores, and kiosks. Yet, we are talking about Istanbul and Istanbulities. They have stockpiled the beverages pre and post curfew periods. Buying alcohol is legal again after strict measures. It is also prohibited to purchase beverages after 22:00. Yet, this prohibition has continued after the strict measures. You can get general information about banning those beverages on the Ministry of Internal Affairs website. Now we should mention the famous brands of the most consumed products.
Famous Alcohol Brands in Istanbul
When it is approached about Istanbul and alcohol, three main beverages are mentioned: beer, rakı, and wine.
Beer, the most consumed alcoholic beverage in Istanbul, stands out with its unique taste and foam. Everybody knows beer. We don’t have anything to add but let us talk about where and how to consume it. Especially in summer, beer is drunk legally on beaches and parks such as Moda and Maçka in Istanbul. Beer brands in Turkey consist of local and national companies. We will tell you about the most consumed alcohol brands.
Beer is the most consumed beverage in Istanbul. While the best beer brand varies from person to person, talking about an accepted average is still possible. We can say that five beer brands are highly preferred in Istanbul. Those beers are Efes Pilsen, Bomonti, Carlsberg, Tuborg, and Beck’s. Sometimes Anadolu Group, which produces Efes Pilsen, Bomonti, and Beck’s, makes special series about Istanbul because the company was established in Istanbul.
The quality of the products, Tuborg and Carlsberg, is produced by the German Purity Law. The Weihenstephan Research Center for Brewing and Food Quality of the Technical University of Munich approved and documented the beer brands. You can find general information about German beers in those institutions.
Rakı and Wine
The story of rakı and wine in Anatolia goes back 300 years. Although viticulture and wine-making were common in Constantinople, especially around monasteries, the wine needed by the city came from the islands of Thasos, Crete, and Chios in large quantities. Some monasteries, such as those on Büyükada and Heybeliada, were famous for their exceptional wines.
It is known that the primary choice of drink in the Byzantine palace was wine, and some of them were prepared with fragrant herbs similar to today’s vermouth. On the other hand, besides grapes, people fermented fruits such as apricots, plums, dates, and figs to make fruit wines. At that time, it was legal to drink wine.
The famous brands of rakı are Yeni Rakı and Efe. Yeni Rakı is a rakı with a full flavor with an intense green anise scent. It is recommended to drink with the addition of plain or cold water or mineral water. It is traditional to drink rakı with fish in Istanbul. Everyone’s way of drinking rakı is different. Some drink it straight in a tea glass, while some drink doubles. Some people mix it with soda. You can observe Turkish people get the complete picture of Istanbul and rakı.
The most famous wine brands are Doluca Özel Kav and Sarafin Merlot. The first one is a dark red wine with a burgundy hue. It is produced from grapes in Diyarbakır and Elazığ regions and aged in small French oak barrels for 12 months. It has a distinctive and rich fruity integrity evoking the aromas of vanilla and blackberry. The second has a luscious and rich fruity character which is easy-drinking wine. It is aged in French oak barrels to give it vanilla and caramel flavors. The production processes of these beverages are legal. You can buy it from liquor stores. Also, you can get general information about the other brands of those beverages.
Alcohol in Istanbul
General pricing of alcoholic beverages varies from size to size and from brand to brand. To give an example, rakı is usually sold in four different sizes, which are 35, 50, 75, and 100 cl. Each size is sold at different prices. Even if Beck’s and Carlsberg are 50 cl, their price is different as they are different brands. In Turkey, there is an age limit to buying alcoholic beverages legally. The person has to be 18 or older 18.
Frequently Asked Question
Is it legal to buy alcohol in Istanbul?
Yes, alcohol consumption is legal in Turkey.
Who can buy alcohol in Istanbul?
Everyone older than 18 years old can purchase alcohol in Turkey.
When can you buy alcohol in Istanbul?
You can buy alcohol any time before 10 PM in the evening in Turkey.
Is it legal to drink alcohol in the streets in Istanbul?
No, consumption of alcohol in public spaces is prohibited in Turkey.