Arak : The Lebanese anise-based pure grape alcohol similar to french Pastis
Traditional Lebanese drink crafted in the Kesrouan region
We met with Kamal Mouzawak, at the restaurant Tawlet, on 12 Rue Naher, Armenia Street in Beirut, where he introduced us to Arak, a traditional Lebanese drink made from pure grapes. This time we had the pleasure to taste the Al-Dawaly brand, produced in the Kesrouan region by small local producers.
Rather transparent, Arak becomes whitish when mixed with water. It is then given the name of Les Larmes de la Vierge (The Tears of the Virgin) or Lait de Lionne (Lioness Milk). Scented with aniseed, it is comparable to french Pastis, greek Raki or Ouzo, but its originality lies in its perfume, only aniseed-based, after adding the seeds during the distillation process.
To prepare The Tears of The Virgin or Lioness Milk, traditional Lebanese drink of 50 degrees of alcohol, dilute ⅓ Arak and ⅔ water.
Arak is a must during Mezze, a selection of small dishes to pair with alcoholic drinks, also on warm summer days and during lunch. Don’t forget to add ice!