Because of my Sephardic ancestry, people often gift me with a bottle of Arak (or Araq), an alcoholic anise-flavoured beverage traditionally served in the Middle East, similar to the Greek Ouzo.
I’m really not a fan of the anise flavor so the bottles have accumulated. The traditional way to drink the liquor is sipped with water: either one part water and one part arak, or two parts water and one part arak, served with ice, in part to offset the high alcohol content.
However, on a recent trip to Israel, I was given an Arak cocktail that I quite enjoyed. Although I didn’t get that recipe, I did find and modify one that is a great refreshing drink, especially during the hot summer months.
- 2oz Arak or Ouzo
- 1 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
- 4-6 mint leaves
- Soda water
- Lime wedge (for garnish)
- Beverage aromatics (optional)
- Combine the first four ingredients in a shaker
- Add a healthy amount of ice and shake until the shaker begins to frost
- Pour into a glass unstrained and top with soda water
- Garnish with a lime wedge and serve