Did you know that arak may actually be the original liquor ?
Arabs were likely the first people to distill liquor and the drink they made was probably a predecessor of everyone's favorite Mediterranean drink. Although the name and pronunciation of the traditional alcoholic beverage varies from place to place, versions of arak are consumed throughout the Levant, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Cyprus, Greece, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Bulgaria.
While fermented drinks have long been enjoyed by humans, dating all the way back to cavemen, the natural alcohol content of those ancient wines and beers maxed out at about 16 percent. It's unclear exactly when Arabs figured out the precise method for distilling liquor, but it is well documented that Arabs were circulating the knowledge by the ninth century.
It makes sense, especially since the word alcohol actually comes from Arabic. And while we all love to eat mezza and drink arak mixed the traditional way (one cup of arak to two cups of water plus ice), there are also unique and delicious ways to consume the world's original alcohol.
Here are 6 of our favorites that you should definitely try!
1. Arak and Lemonade Ice
Ingredients: 150 ml of lemonade syrup, 30 ml of arak, 200 ml of water
Instructions: Combine ingredients and freeze in a shallow dish for at least four hours. After the liquid is frozen, scrape the ice with a fork and scoop into glasses.
2. Blushed Arak Cocktail
Ingredients: 4 red grapefruit segments, 2 leafs of sage, 30 ml of lemon juice, 2 tbsp of sugar, 45 ml of grapefruit juice, 60 ml of arak, 60 ml of water, ice
Instructions: Combine the water, sugar and sage in a pan and bring to a boil. Then cook for two minutes. After the syrup cools to room temperature, mash the grapefruit and combine all ingredients in a shaker.
3. Arak Attack
Ingredients: 40 ml of arak, 10 ml of grenadine, orange juice, ice
Instructions: Combine arak and grenadine in a glass with ice. Top the concoction with orange juice to your preference.
4. Arak and Coke
Ingredients: 40 ml of arak, Coke or Pepsi, ice, lemon wedge
Instructions: Pour the arak into a glass with ice and top with Coke or Pepsi to your preference. Add a lemon wedge.
5. Arak Buck
Ingredients: 50 ml of arak, 1 cointreau, 120 ml of ginger ale, juice squeezed from a quart of a lemon, ice
Instructions: Stir arak, lemon juice and cointreau together and then add ginger ale and ice.
6. Beirut Cocktail
Ingredients: 45 ml of scotch, 20 ml of arak, 20 ml of lemon juice, 30 ml of simple syrup, 130 ml of green tea, 2 dashes of orange bitters, ice
Instructions: Combine ingredients with ice and stir.