Boza, also bosa (from Turkish: boza ), is a popular fermented beverage in Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and also Poland and Lithuania. (Although not as often in the last two countries.) It is a malt drink, made from maize (corn) and wheat in Albania, fermented wheat in Turkey and wheat or millet in Bulgaria and Romania. It has a thick consistency and a low alcohol content (usually around 1%), and has a slightly acidic sweet flavor. (from wikipedia )
This very special Turkish beverage, which carries with it a very long history of its own, enjoying its popularity all along the centuries, without ever leaving the front row, owed its fame to the special expertise of the boza makers who have deployed all their means to preserve this tradition, bringing this delicious drink to the doorsteps of the consumers, mostly on cold winter nights, by the wandering street-vendors. Then came the year 1870, when Hadji Sadik Bey, the great, great grandfather of our family, immigrated from Albania to Istanbul, and settled in a very selective district of the city, Vefa, where mostly aristocratic families, and members close to the Sultan’s Palace had their private houses and residences. Hadji Sadik Bey, then, closely observed that nearly 200 citizens of Armenian origin were in charge of making and selling boza, which at that period was produced with a sour tart flavour and was rather juicy with light consistency. In this very selective residential district of Istanbul, Vefa, he started to make Vefa Boza of a different flavour and taste, with thick consistency and having a less sour taste, just as it is flavoured and enjoyed today. In September, 1876, he registered the tradition of boza making both as a profession and a trademark with the brand name, the VEFA BOZACISI.
Hadji Sadik Bey, for many years, produced this delicious Turkish drink, so much liked and preferred by the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire and by those close to the palace, all by himself, in order to preserve the very special consistency and taste of the beverage that has been favoured by all the celebrities of the time and members of high society. He also trained his son, Ismail Hakki Vefa, to asisst him with the production of this traditional drink. Ismail Hakki Vefa, while continuing his studies at the Faculty of Letters of Istanbul University, in collaboration with one of our relatives, who worked at the Golden Horn Dockyard, at the maritime arsenal, and was in charge of mechanical equipment, started to produce certain special devices to be used for the production of boza. Meanwhile, Ismail Hakki Vefa, developed and thereby increased the production of balsamic vinegar, which has then become another branch of our business. Ismail Hakki Vefa, also showed great concern to wrestling, one of the main sports of our ancestors, and has highly contributed to its development, meanwhile raising many world wrestling champions. Just like his father, he also passed on his business to his sons.
Today, in our historically traditional boza shop, where the nostalgic echo of the past lingers on, BOZA is the favourite beverage of the period between April and October, whereas starting from October till April of the following year, it leaves its throne, just for a short while, to Shira, the special juice produced from raisins, as well as icecreams and lemonade.
Carrying the honour of the successful accomplishments of 130 years, VEFA BOZACISI, keeps up with all the innovations and new ventures, progressively still, in the new millenium, meeting the demands of the clients and customers, in accordance with their good palate for fine products. (from Vefa Bozacisi corporate website )