Arak (eng. agak or araq) is an alcoholic beverage with alcohol volume from 30 to 60. It is widespread in East, Central Asia, Europe, India, the Islands of Sri Lanka and Java.
For the first time Arak had been made about 300 years ago, but where exactly – is unknown. After all, every Eastern nation considers Arak is their national drink, which appeared their country.
The major reason for the creation of Arak was the need of beneficial use of grapes products processing. Initially in the production of Arak only used grape pomace and sugar. After distillation aromatic substances were added. Now, depending on the region, the Arak is made from rice, grapes, figs, dates, molasses, plums, and other fruits.
How to make Arak you may learn from the video below:
Each region has its own historically developed production technology of Arak, but there are two essential stages:
- the Process of fermentation of the main ingredient sugar;
- Triple distillation of the fermented mixture.
The beverage is soaked in oak barrels and then bottled. In Turkey, Syria and Libya is a specially prepared bottle with a long narrow neck. After aging the good quality Arak has a Golden-yellow color.
In Eastern Europe, the middle East and Central Asia before the third distillation process people add anise (star anise) into Arak . The result is a prototype of some anisette. The more anise in the beverage, the lower its strength.
Often, before drinking the finished beverage is diluted with a little water. When the reaction of the essential oil of anise with water occurs, Arakas a result takes on a milky white color. For its properties and colour in Libya Arak called “milk of a lion”.
In Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh Arak is the traditional drink. However, it is produced by distillation of fermented coconut SAP (toddy) or palm syrup. Coconut juice is collected from the closed palm flowers. As a result the drink has a light yellow tint and a higher volume, which ranges from 60 to 90. Taste also differs from that of anise, and is, something between rum and whiskey. The island of Sri Lanka is the world’s largest producer of coconut arrack.
The island of Java is famous for Arak on the basis of rye wort and cane molasses. Produced by the distillation, the drink has a bright pronounced flavor.
Mongolian and Turkic peoples Arak is made from sour horse or cow’s milk (kumys). This is probably the most famous alcoholic drink from milk with the least volume.
How to Drink Arak
Arak is usually consumed in cocktails. The pure drink is consumed as an aperitif before a meal or as a digestif after a meal, adding a bit of coffee.
The benefit of Arak
The beneficial properties of Arak depend on the raw material from which it was produced. So medicinal properties of Arak produced in Central Asia on the basis of anise is similar to the properties of anisic tincture. When you add it to tea – it is very good for respiratory diseases, stomach cramps and disorders. In the East there is a perception that Arak is very good for weakness of male power.
Arak, on the basis of Mare’s milk has many medicinal and beneficial properties. After distillation there are vitamins, antibiotic substances and amino acids such as tryptophan, lysine, methionine, involved in the construction of DNA and RNA. It is used to normalize the digestive processes, reduce the fermentation processes in the stomach. Arak also prevents the growth of putrefactive bacteria in the intestines.
It is good for people with atherosclerosis, hypertension, disorders of the gall bladder, etc. a Small amount of Arak (30 g) helps with nervous exhaustion and General weakness of the body. It is also used to enhance immunity in respiratory diseases, influenza and bronchitis. In this case, 30 g of Arak are added to a warm drink or make inhalations.
Arak based on coconut juice has a number of useful properties. When used in small doses, it promotes vasodilation, reduction of fatty plaques, enhances blood circulation and filling of small vessels and also lowers blood pressure. The effect of this type of Arak lowers the risk of heart attack and strengthens the heart.
To improve digestion, metabolism and getting rid of constipation one may drink a tablespoon of Arak three times a day after meals during the week. Face mask with Arak promotes skin rejuvenation. For its preparation you should use 100 ml milk and 50 ml of Arak. The received solution moisten a gauze and apply 20 minutes on the face. After removing the gauze, the skin should be wiped with a dry cotton swab and cream. After a few times the skin becomes more elastic and gets a healthy color and it decreases age spots.
The dangers of Arak and contraindications
If you are on a journey in the East – you should not take the Arak from local residents, it can lead to serious negative consequences. This is due to the low level of sanitary hygiene in the Eastern countries, as well as with the widespread counterfeiting of this drink. For higher volume it can be diluted with methanol, the use of 10 ml of which can lead to blindness, and 100 ml are fatal.
Contraindicated treatment with arac in acute gastrointestinal diseases, individual intolerance of the body, as well as women during pregnancy and lactation.
Have some fan watching people trying arak food the first time: