Arak El Massaya Lebanon 100′
$414.82 / case(12)
Arak has a beguiling aniseed flavor and freshness that cleans the palate and aids digestion. It is often served as an aperitif and then as the perfect accompaniment to classic selections of mezze the array of tasty dishes with contrasting flavors that is the starting point for many lunchtime or evening meals. Arak works particularly well with the mezze melange that will include olives spices meat and cheese – flavors that are sometimes harder to match with wine. 53% abv how we make arak: there is a saying in lebanon – the better the wine the better the arak. That’s why we take special care to select the finest plump obeidi grapes that are grown extensively in the beqaa. The grapes are harvested by hand in september then mechanically destemmed and gently crushed in a press to obtain the best obeidi juice. Then comes the triple distillation process that will transform the wine into el massaya arak. First the wine is poured into traditional moorish lid copper stills where it is heated by gentle fires of vine wood. As the vapors rise they are carried through copper pipes into the cooling device where the alcohol condenses. After eight hours the process is repeated to remove impurities and leave the heart of the alcohol the ‘coeur de chauffe’. This is followed by a third distillation of 24 hours that gives the arak its purity and distinction. We combine the third distillation with the maceration of the best green organic aniseed from the village of hineh on the syrian slopes of mount hermon. We then collect the non-aged arak in traditional clay amphorae made by the potters in the mount lebanon village of beit chebab. These are just porous enough to absorb some of the liquid and allow it to breathe. During this crucial resting period lasting many months the clay lends a faint golden clarity to the matured spirit that will bear the name el massaya arak. How you dirnk arak: there are three simple yet important steps to the arak sensation. First in a fresh glass pour in the clean white spirit. Then add twice as much water. Finally some cubes of ice. Admire for a moment the transformation into an aromatic cloudy white creation – and taste. If you are drinking arak as an aperitif we recommend diluting the spirit by as much as six parts water to one of arak.
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