The world famous Turkish national drink, which originated in the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century, is a high-quality aniseed spirit distilled from selected grapes. Rakı is traditionally served at large gatherings and is the perfect companion to a good meal or meze (a selection of hot and cold appetizers– ed.), but it goes best with good conversation.
A rakı glass is never empty. You should always leave a small remnant in the bottom of your glass. Traditionally, a person, called the »saki«, fills the glasses with rakı. If the »saki« isn’t around, the youngest person present is responsible for filling the glasses.
The editorial team at renk. didn’t need convincing: Monthly rakı evenings are part of our established program. But how best to introduce the traditional aniseed drink to non-rakı-drinkers and people who want to try something new?
Together with Sanatorium23 bar manager Tim Dahlmann, we’ve dreamt up some very special rakı cocktails
Get started with our renk. rakı cocktails
4 cL rakı
12 cardamom leaves
2 cL Cherry Heering
1 cL caramel syrup
3 cL passion fruit nectar
2 cL cranberry juice
Put the caramel syrup and cardamom leaves into a shaker and muddle to release the cardamom aroma. Add the ice cubes and pour in the rest of the ingredients. Now close the shaker and shake hard for a good minute, to ensure that the drink is well mixed and chilled. Fill the tumbler with ice cubes. Open the shaker and strain the contents into the tumbler, using a fine sieve or a tea strainer. Garnish with a leaf-tip of cardamom, serve with a straw and enjoy.
4 cL rakı
2 cL Finlandia Vodka
2 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters
2 thin slices of cucumber
Thomas Henry Spicy Ginger or ginger beer
1 sprig of mint
Glass: caipirinha glass
Put the cucumber slices in the glass and pour Angostura bitters over them to add more depth to the flavour. Squeeze the wedge of lime into the glass and then drop it in. Fill the glass with ice cubes and pour in the rest of the ingredients. You get a great effect if you add the rakı last. Decorate with a sprig of mint and serve with a straw.
4 cL rakı
6 mint leaves
Fill with cranberry juice
Glass: highball glass
Gently press the sprig of fresh mint to bruise the leaves to release the natural mint oils, add to the glass and fill with ice cubes. Squeeze the juice of two lime-wedges into the glass and then drop them in. Now add the rakı and cranberry juice, and decorate with a sprig of mint. Serve with a straw.
Interesting fact: The »ı« in rakı is often confused with »i« and is pronounced incorrectly, but actually sounds more like an »uh« as in »shut«. Here is an audio sample.
When you try out our rakı recipes, do tell us about it. We’re looking forward to all your comments on Facebook!
A special thanks to Tim Dahlmann for the recipes and Yeni Raki for their sponsorship.