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Steeped in history, arak evolved from the Arab invention of alembic distillation in the 12th century. Many centuries after its introduction, arak continues to be the distilled drink of people all over the Middle East and for those who embrace its heritage. Arak is made by extracting anise seeds in grape brandy and is considered by many to be one of the first flavoured spirits ever made. You may be familiar with anise spirits from other parts of the Mediterranean and Levant, like French Pastis and Turkish Raki, but Arak precedes them all. It’s also the simplest in composition, flavoured with only anise seed and no other additives.
For most people outside of Middle Eastern culture, Arak is scarcely given its due. But for many, it’s a part of life. Few things persist so close to their original form over so many centuries. Arak’s importance among spirits and the history of the people who created it is undeniable.
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