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
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.