What is Arak? 7 Things to know about the ancient Middle Eastern spirit

By: FPJ Web Desk | May 17, 2023

Arak or 'araq' in Arabic, is a popular distilled alcoholic beverage in the Middle East. The colourless spirit is Lebanon’s national drink

Commonly used in social settings, the drink is famous for its strength, the aniseed flavor and its milky-white colour when water is added to it

Arak has 40% and 60% alcohol content, so water and ice are almost always added to dilute it. The strength of the drink was responsible for its nickname “the milk of lions” in the Middle East

Arak is typically made from grapes, Obeidy or Merwah, an indigenous variety to Lebanon. Aniseed is added to the distilled alcohol during the second of three distillation processes

Traditionally, the drink is served with mezze, which the guests consume to help hinder the potency of the alcohol

Arak is the strongest of the anise-flavored spirits and has no added sugar

Variants of Arak can be found around the Mediterranean such as Raki in Turkey, Pastis in France, Ouzo in Greece and Cyprus

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