For the many people who did not grow up in homes where Arak is traditionally produced, it is normal to wonder about the differences between the various types and the different tastes.
Despite the high alcohol content in Arak, it is more difficult to distinguish between its varieties than with the less alcoholic wines. Experienced drinkers differentiate between most sorts of Arak since the number of distillation times leads to different tests and alcohol percentages.
The lighter Arak with the lowest percentage of alcohol is the Arak distilled once. As for the native ethnicity that everyone accepts, it is the triple distilled Arak, which means that it has been distilled three times in a row to extract its brandy. The heaviest Arak types are refined and concentrated four times to extract a strongly flavored arak and a high alcohol content. Like the Extra Arak offered by Abu Raad and Ghantous.
In addition to the number of refining operations, the amount of anise in the Arak also varies, sometimes giving it a grainy, sour, whiskey-like flavor and sometimes a softer, gentler taste. Some producers also add apples to the sweat to add a hidden taste of sweetness. At this point, it should be noted that Arak is made from 100% natural substances and herbs, without the addition of sugar or any chemicals. Since the distilled Arak with chemicals is not considered Arak according to Lebanese and Syrian laws, the factories that harbor any unnatural substances for their products are closed.
If you want to know which Arak is the best for you, try several varieties to find out which one you test. Arak is mixed in a one-third arak ratio to two-thirds water, with Arak poured off first, and then water added. One or two ice cubes are added to the mixture of water and Arak, no more. It is possible to drink Arak, like vodka, in small shots, but the essence of Arak is a long drink that lasts throughout the evening, which means that it is a long drink that is drunk slowly. It is recommended to accompany Arak with a small meze or tapas. The small transparent size characterizes arak cups, and it is recommended to change the cup and use another one when you finish a cup of Arak.
There are rituals to drink Arak, such as drinking slowly, so you know your appropriate limit and don't exceed it to avoid a hangover. However, an Arak hangover is usually gentler than a hangover caused by other drinks. The reason is the doubled water amount mixed with the alcohol, so the water guarantees less headache than other drinks you drink or have drunk alone.
Arak is a suitable drink for the evening, as many young people in the Middle East like to drink Arak during long soirees, either with food or alone.
If you are not yet used to Arak, you can start with one smoother and less tart variety. Brun Arak is very suitable, as are Kasarak Arak and Rayan Arak. Faqra and Al Mazar are suitable for novice drinkers, as are Touma, Abu Raad and Ghantous, each producing two types of Arak.