What is Arak ?

What is Arak?

Arak is an intensely flavored liqueur that has a tradition in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Arak is traditionally made from only two ingredients: Grapes (usually Obeidy grapes) and anise seeds it is best compared to Anis-liquor/Anischnapps.

The production begins in the vineyards, where high-quality vines are the key to making good Arak. The vines should be very mature and usually golden in color. The vineyards are not irrigated but left to the rainfed agriculture, taking advantage of the natural rain and sun. The grapes, harvested at the end of September and October, are pressed and put into barrels together with the juice, where they ferment for three weeks. By the end of the three-week fermentation, the distillation process begins.

Of course, with such a popular drink as Arak, the demand on the local market can only be met by the factories scattered throughout the Eastern Mediterranean countries. However, with the spread of these plants, most grape farmers prefer to produce their Arak by distilling it with a device called al-Kilke / Kirke (depedning on place).

The alcohol obtained from the first distillation undergoes a second distillation, this time mixing it with anise. The ratio of alcohol to anise can vary and is one of the essential factors in the quality of the final product.

The final product undergoes a final distillation, which is done at the lowest possible temperature. For quality arak, the final spirit is then stored in clay amphorae. The liquid remaining after this step is most suitable for consumption.

Arak is usually mixed in a ratio of about one part Arak to two parts arak. The mixture is then poured into cups; finally, those cups with Arak are filled with ice. This dilution gives the clear spirit a translucent milky white color.

If the ice is added to the drinking vessel before the water, and aesthetically unappealing layer will form on the surface of the drink as the ice solidifies the oils. If water is added first, the ethanol emulsifies the fat, resulting in the characteristic milky color.

To avoid the precipitation of the anise (instead of an emulsion), drinkers prefer not to reuse a glass that has contained Arak.


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