Distillation Process Of Arak
Arak is an ancient alcoholic drink of the Middle East and is a traditional alcoholic beverage in ...
Arak is an ancient alcoholic drink of the Middle East and is a traditional alcoholic beverage in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, and Israel. It is a distillate from grape alcohol and aniseed.
Making Arak is quite a long process. First, the grapes are harvested, then squeezed and poured in barrels for two or three weeks (depending on the temperature) to make sure the fermentation process is complete. The mixture at this stage is called Mestar.
The main apparatus used is called a Karkeh. The idea is to extract the alcohol out of the mixture. After the fermentation is complete, the mixture is put in the lower part of the Karkeh.
This first distillation produces alcohol. This is not Arak, just raw alcohol that cannot be drunk.
Water is added to make sure that the alcohol level is not too high. Too much water can also compromise the taste so this process is done with care and precision.
Following this, a second distillation is carried out. One third of the volume of alcohol is added, plus water and two pounds of aniseed per gallon of alcohol. The aniseed is kept whole and is soaked in hot alcohol in the still the day prior to distillation. This is then distilled a third time.
This produces a final distillate that is 170 proof. This is diluted with distilled water to 100 proof (if the proof is less than 100, Arak turns cloudy). It is aged in pottery crocks for a month. The final product is the finest quality Arak.
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