Arak drink: what is it, what is it made of + recipe at home

Arak drink: what is it, what is it made of + recipe at home

Arak - Arak is a group of alcoholic beverages with a strength of 40-60 degrees, they are very popular in the Middle East and Central Asia. In terms of taste and cooking technique, this drink most closely resembles Turkish rakia, Italian sambuca, Greek Ouzo vodka, and Bulgarian mastic.

The history of the drink in brief

The country in which arak was first made remains unknown to this day, but it is known that it happened almost 300 years ago. And Iraqis are sure that it was in their country that the production of this drink was first launched, and later it moved to other regions.

The legend also says that the name of the alcohol we are considering comes from the Arabic word "arak", which means "to sweat". It has nothing to do with the physiological processes of the human body, but directly depends on the production process.

Arak: what is it made of and production technology

Oriental vodka, although in simpler terms, it is an ordinary moonshine, which is made by distillation or distillation of brew. The only thing that distinguishes arak from moonshine is the raw material.

Initially, the original basis for making the drink was grape cake, to which sugar was added. Over time, this composition was diversified and completely different ingredients were used instead of grapes. For example, arak can be made from: rice, plums, figs and dates. And also from ingredients of animal origin, such as kumis (horse milk).

Each region has its own historically established arak production technology, but there are two integral stages:

  1. The fermentation process of the main ingredient with sugar.

  2. Triple distillation of fermented mash.

The resulting drink is infused in oak barrels and then bottled. In Turkey, Syria and Libya, special bottles with a long, narrow neck are used for this purpose. After aging, good quality arak has a golden yellow color, but you can also find specimens of a transparent and white hue, which can already be diluted with water.

In Eastern countries and Central Asia, anise (star anise) is added to arak before the third distillation process. The result is a drink that is very similar to anise tincture. And it is important to remember that the more anise, the lower its strength.

Arak recipe at home

It is important to understand that this recipe is simply a variation on the theme of oriental anise vodka, and it is very different from the original recipe and technology. But still, the result is a rather unusual drink with a slight greenish tint and pleasant sweetness.

To get one step closer to the original arak recipe, you can replace vodka with grape moonshine without a pungent and foreign odor.

The ingredients

  1. Vodka or food alcohol - 1 liter

  2. Anise seeds - 30 g

  3. Sugar - 3 tbsp.

  4. Water - 4 tbsp.

  5. Cloves - 6 buds

The method of preparation

  1. To begin with, cloves and anise must be crushed, but not to the state of flour.

  2. Then pour the spices into a glass jar and pour over the prepared alcohol base. Insist the drink in a dark place for 5 days.

  3. After five days, make simple sugar syrup from sugar and water.

  4. After it has cooled to room temperature, pour the syrup into the tincture and continue to insist for another 1-1.5 months.

  5. After this time, the finished anise tincture must be filtered and then passed through a filter.

  6. Pour the drink into a glass bottle and store it in a cool place.

How to drink arak

I would like to say right away that for people who have never drunk such drinks, the aroma and taste may seem quite specific. But still, if you decide to do this experiment, you should follow a few basic rules:

  1. Arak is usually diluted with still water in a ratio of 1:2. If the arak contains anise essential oils, the drink will immediately turn white.

  2. You can throw in an ice cube, but do it after adding water.

  3. As an appetizer, you can serve spicy Middle Eastern dishes or nuts, fruits and hard cheeses.

Of course, it is best to drink this drink during a feast, but you can also add a little arak to a cup of coffee or use it to make cocktails.

If you find white-milk arak on the store shelves, you should know that it has already been diluted with water, and you can only add an ice cube during the tasting process.

Update: 13.02.2018

Category: Vodka an Moonshine