What is Arak

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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You may have never tried arak, but it is widely enjoyed in certain parts of the world and has a flavor that you would almost certainly recognize!

What is Arak?

Arak is a clear alcoholic anise-flavored aperitif that originated in the Levant region of the Middle East. It tastes like anise or black licorice, a key ingredient in the second round of distilling. It is usually made from grapes. Arak is a highly potent liquor, ranging from 30% to 60% alcohol by volume, or ABV. It is also traditionally combined with water and chilled with ice, and the addition of water causes the anise oils to emulsify, or break down into smaller particles, which gives the drink its milky-white appearance. It is similar to Ouzo, the Greek spirit, although ouzo is generally distilled to a lower ABV.

How to Drink Arak?

There are many popular ways to consume this liquor variety, let us take a look at them below.

  • This specialty liquor is traditionally drunk diluted with water and ice, such that it turns white.
  • In Lebanon and surrounding countries, it is often consumed with mezze, or a variety of small appetizers, since it complements the flavors of a wide range of foods.
  • It has recently become a popular spirit that is added to cocktails, as the taste is light and refreshing.

Note: It is wise to remember that even when this alcohol is diluted with water or mixers, it is a very powerful form of alcohol, and you should not drink more than three servings of the beverage.

How To Make An Arak Cocktail?

One of the most popular alcoholic beverages made with Arak is called Beirut.

Beirut Cocktail Recipe

With the sweetness of pomegranates, Beirut is perhaps the best way to enjoy Arak. 
Prep Time2 mins
Total Time2 mins
Course: Alcoholic drink
Cuisine: Middle East
Keyword: Beirut Cocktail, Arak
Appliance: Cocktail Shaker
Servings: 1 Person
Author: Paromita Datta

Ingredients

  • 6 oz pomegranate juice
  • 3 oz Arak
  • 1.5 oz simple syrup
  • 1.5 oz club soda

Instructions

  • Take 4 shots of pomegranate juice and add 2 shots of Arak.
  • Combine with 1 shot of simple syrup and 1 shot of club soda
  • Mix or use a cocktail shaker to combine and serve

Notes

While this recipe carries the exact amount, you can also remember it simply in terms of proportions. Just remember to take 4 parts pomegranate juice, 2 parts arak, and 1 part simple syrup and club soda. 
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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