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Distilling Arak


Grapes are gathered and are crushed and put with all their elements (seed, stems juice etc.) into wells or wooden barrels or glazed earthenware barrels, stored inside. It is stirred well once a day for 15 days until it ferments. The sign for that is the appearance of foam on top of it. Then discontinue stirring and leave it set till no more foam appears and the top of the juice appears clear by the rest of the elements having settled at the bottom.

Now pour all the mixture into the distilling vessel-the karaki. Distil over very low heat until all alcohol is drawn out of it. Now pour out all that remains in the karaki and wash it well. The next day pour into the karaki the following proportions: for each 6 gallons of alcohol add 4 gallons of water and 11 lbs. aniseed. Stir all this well then seal the karaki well with flour paste or with dough so that none of the steam may escape. Put karaki over low heat and when it starts dripping cut off heat for 24 hours until aniseed is well soaked in the alcohol. Then put on high heat until it starts distilling then reduce heat until "Arak" starts dripping with quick but disconnected drops. Water in top part of karaki must remain cool throughout entire operation by changing it before it gets hot.

When the colour of "Arak" starts turning white, put aside what has already been distilled. Increase heat and repeat the operation. Distilling is stopped when the amount of alcohol in the "Arak" has become very weak. The last portions distilled are added to the first portions.

Arak is stored in large crocks, painted on the inside. Store for three months or longer until it has cleared and mellowed. If stored in glass containers it requires over four months for it to become good enough for use. At this point add enough water to it to reduce the rate of alcohol so that its content measures 21 according to an alcohol measure.

Note: If it is not possible to distil the alcohol from the juice in the well or barrel immediately, then it should be covered until ready to distil it.



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