What is Rakı

Rakı is a typical Anatolian product and a distinct category with production process specific to Turkey.

All elements accompanying and constituting rakı create what is called microcosm, enabling rakı to prove its self-existence. This demonstrates the strong ties of rakı with the Anatolian culture.

Grapes, aniseed and distillation are where the journey of rakı starts. Its taste and appearance, which turns into white when mixed with water, are specific to rakı. It is the only alcoholic beverage which has developed its own food culture.

Aniseed-based alcoholic beverages are produced in many countries in the Mediterrenean basin. Rakı in Turkey, Ouzo in Greece, Pastis in France, Sambuca in Italy has the geographical indications registered. They are different in terms of ingredients, production process and amount of sugar.

The main difference from other aniseed-flavor spirits is only high-quality grapes and aniseed are used in distillation process, there is no extracts or other herbs added to rakı like in other aniseed spirits. Also, rakı is the one which contains the least amount of sugar.


The essence of the 500-year tradition of rakı is grapes. The first stage of rakı production is inclusion of the unfermented grape juice, obtained from grapes, with yeast, resulting in alcohol fermentation. The resultant mash is distilled, and ethanol is obtained. This alcohol, used in rakı production, is called as suma.

Aniseed (Pimpinella Anisum), an indispensable ingredient of rakı, is one of the strong cultural, botanical and gastronomical symbols of the Mediterranean. It gives a unique flavor to rakı thanks to its original aroma. The harvest time of aniseed (Pimpinella Anisum) is an annual plant that can rise up to 1-1.5 m in length and requires a lot of sun. The harvest period is around July-August. After harvesting, the seed are seperated dried and made ready for use.

Rakı is a distinct category with production process specific to itself, in Turkey.

Rakı is produced with suma redistilled, either alone or mixed with ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with aniseed grown in Turkey - Pimpinella Anisum - in traditional copper alembics having a filling volume of 5.000 liters or smaller. Distillation distinguishes rakı from other aniseed-flavored spirits, enabling it to have its unique taste.


From transparent, rakı turns white when mixed with water. First add rakı, then water slowly and continue by adding a couple of ice cubes. Water that is added to rakı should be limeless, soft, chlorine free and natural spring water, if possible. For the ideal taste, glass, rakı and water should be cooled to 8C-10C. Traditional drinking style is to add equal amounts of water and rakı. It's important to consume slowly, with mezzes in a warm and vibrant environment.