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Arak: (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon) Made from grapes

February 14, 2012 1478 No of hits
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Arak: (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon) Made from grapes

Arak, the national Alcohol drink of Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, is also popularly known as "the milk of lions" in the Middle East. Also called arack or arraki, it is very strong and potent liquor. "Arak" means condensation in Arabic but should not be confused with another similar drink called arrack.

Not only is arak renowned for its potency, it is also specifically known for its milky-white color. Arak is first a clear liquid, but once water is added, it changes to milky and white. Water is almost always an additive to the liquor because of its high alcohol content. Water is used to dilute the strong substance. Approximately 1/3 arak will be mixed with 2/3 water and then it is served in little cups with ice.

Arak is almost never drunk by itself, but is typically always served with mezza. Mezza means small bits of food, or what Americans would call appetizers. The typical dinner tradition of the Middle East includes arak. Dinner starts off with several ounces of arak and large amounts of mezza. Once the main course is served, the patrons are typically so full from the combination of arak and mezza that they hardly touch their dinner. The highlight and most beloved part of the dinner is the arak and appetizers.

The traditional arak is distilled using fermented grape juice. Some countries, like Syria, use sugar as well. Arak is considered superior to other Alcohol beverages in Syria. Only the best grapes are chosen from the vineyard to make arak. The grapes are harvested in late September or October and are then left to ferment for around three weeks. The drink is finally arak after a second round distillation.

Not much is known about the origins of arak in the Middle East, but legend has it that it was once of the very first liquors in the Middle East, developed by the Christian and Jewish minorities.

Tags:   Arak: (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon) Made from grapes   Arak   Milk of lions   Middle East   Potent  

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Arak, the national Alcohol drink of Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, is also popularly known as "the milk of lions" in the Middle East. Also called arack or arraki, it is very strong and potent liquor. "Arak" means condensation in Arabic but should not be confused with another similar drink called...

By: Richard Martine Created 76 months ago

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