Rakı, pronounced rah-kuh, is the name given to several kinds of alcoholic beverages.
Raki is an anise-flavored liqueur popular throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and parts of the Balkans. It can also refer to a hard liquor as strong as vodka but made from fruit that is popular throughout the Balkans, which may not be anise-flavored.
Several names referring (sometimes mistakenly) to these drinks include: arak, ouzo, tsikoudia, tsipouro, the Cretan Spirit, "good water", rakia, rakija.
In Turkey where rakı is the unofficial national drink and companion to meze, it is generally drunk mixed with an equal part of water. When the water is added the mixture turns a whitish colour, which is where the drink gets its alternative name Lion's Milk from. In addition to mixing rakı with water in its own glass, it is customary to drink rakı with a separate but complementary beverage. For the casual rakı drinker, a glass of cold water is suitable. For the serious connoisseur of rakı with kebab, a glass of turnip juice stands as the best accompaniment to Lion's Milk. The standard rakı is a grape product, though it may also be produced from various fruits, especially fig.
In Albania raki is an apÚritif and is usually drunk in very small amounts at social gatherings.
In the former Yugoslav countries, the name rakija is applied not to anise-flavoured liquors, but to various distillates of fermented fruit. There are many kinds of rakija, depending on the fruit they are produced from - the slivovitz (šljivovica) being the most famous and produced from the plum. Other kinds include: apricot (kajsijevača - kayseeyewatcha), Williams pear (vilijamovka - williemovka), grapes (loza, lozovača - lozowatcha), quince (dunja), etc.
- Raki - Greece (http://www.sfakia-crete.com/sfakia-crete/raki.html)
- Raki - Turkey (http://www.allaboutturkey.com/icecekler.htm)