An aniseed flavoured grape spirit from Turkey, which has developed over centuries.
Raki is made by double distilling a grape called suma. The second distillation is performed in copper pot stills, and with the addition of aniseed. The distillation runs very high, and produces a spirit of around 95% ABV.
This spirit is diluted down and sweeted, before being rested for a minimum of 30 days in oak barrels, softening the spirit’s harshness and adding flavour.
The final product is strong, sweet and herbaceous, with a powerful core of aniseed flavour.
Raki is often served alongside mezze dishes, with cool water either on the side, or mixed with the spirit to produce a cloudy drink known as “Lion’s Milk”.
Raki is a crucial part of Turkish drinking culture, and a wonderful aperitif.