Raki

Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

The national alcoholic drink, raki can be made from dried raisins, dried figs or fresh grapes. It is distilled once or twice and flavoured with aniseed. Popularly known as asían sütü, ‘lion’s milk’, it turns cloudy when water is added. Traditionally drunk by men, it goes well with meze, grilled fish and meat as it opens up and refreshes the palate. It can be drunk in three ways: as a shot; in a tall glass mixed with water and ice; or in two glasses - one containing a measure of raki, the other water - drunk alternately and cooled with ice. Some people add liquid mastika to their bottles of raki, which gives it a chewy twang and knocks back the spirit.