Arak is a clear spirit from the Levant that is flavoured with anise. Across the world it is known under various names such as raki in Turkey and ouzo in Greece, although the base spirit can vary slightly, depending on where in the world it is made.

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Arak is an unsweetened, colourless spirit usually made from a grape-based spirit, however figs, plums or raisin-based spirits are occasionally the preferred choice for some distillers.

Arak is usually served alongside a jug of fresh cold water and a glass with ice and the individual would then mix the two as a long drink by mixing one-third arak with two-thirds water. When the two are mixed together the drinks turns milky-white in colour. Arak is typically drunk as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to the local mezza.

Arrack is a more general term; once a Hindi umbrella label for all distilled spirits, it is now a term for spirits produced in southern Asia, notably India, Sri Lanka, Bali, Java and the Philippines. Although the term refers simply to a distilled alcohol drink it is usually made from the fermented sap of coconut palm or sugar cane, although some are made using grain or fruit. While there are several styles and variations of Arrack, one of the more common and widely available styles is Batavia Arrack which is an Indonesian spirit made from sugar cane and similar in style to rum. These spirits can be aged in wood or bottled without any ageing at all.

Typical Character and Style of Arak

  • Aniseed Aniseed

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