Arak or Raki: what’s the difference?

Arak Raki

Arak versus Raki versus Araki versus Ariki… Some say that Arak was already made in India in 800 BC although that is not clear at all. Arak is not one typical drink but it stands for a collection of distilled drinks. The basic ingredients and the production process depend on the region. In Indonesia the basis for Arak is sugar cane although sometimes also rice is used. In India the juice of palm trees is the basis for making Arak.

Arak arrived in the Middle-East and the Mediterranean area where it is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks. The name is based on the Arab word for juice.

In the Western world, Arak is mostly known under the name Raki. The anis flavored distilled drink from Greece and Turkey. Raki is also known as the unofficial Turkish national drink. It is made from different fruits in different regions, but grapes, figs and plums are the main ones. Some of the colored Raki has a refined taste but most of the Raki is colorless with a strong taste. Raki is also very often drunk in the Balkan countries.

Traditional Arak or Raki serving tips

Arak or Raki is traditionally served pure: serve it on room temperature in a shot glass. But very often it is mixed in approximately 1/3 arak and 2/3 water and served in ice-filled cups. Some people also like the “Arak & Coke“, Arak mixed with coke and ice.

Cocktails based on Arak or Raki

We made a selection of some delicious and easy to make cocktails based on Arak and Raki. The complete list of Raki recipes can be found here.

  • Arak Caipirinha: a little bit of Bali and a little bit of Brazil. The famous caipirinha based on Arak or Raki.
  • Arak Madu: the “the poor man’s margarita” based on Arak or Raki and lime juice

All our Arak or Raki recipes can be found here.


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