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Lion’s milk or Turkish wine?

rakiHave you drunk lion’s milk? In turkey? Yea, you got me right…and to those who are thinking that why I did not cover it in my weird food series, the answer is that it there is nothing weird about it. I am not referring to lion’s milk, it is about Raki, Turkey’s National drink. It tastes like Pernod or to the Greek’s “Ouzo” and French pastis – an aniseed based drink which is clear until water is added, giving it a “milky” appearance – hence the name “Lion’s Milk”. Raki, pronounced as rah – Kuh is a clear brandy from grapes, is blended with water to give it a milky color, and hence is called as the lion’s milk. This wine can also be flavored with licorice and anise, the alcoholic sting and color has made the Turks name this brandy as lion’s milk.

A long straight and transparent glass is filled with Raki to 1/3 or 1/2 level and then diluted with water as per the taste of the drinker. As Raki caters to all the flavors of a Turkish dining table, a traditional “Raki sofrasi” or Raki table is set with Meze or an assortment of assortment of seafood like pickled fish, smoked fish, and dried fish, cheese, salads, purees, pickles, vinaigrettes, fruits, fritters, vegetables and meats. Raki is traditionally sold by the name kadeh, the Turkish name for drink, and the kadeh glass is raised to a toast for happiness, good conversation, much humor, companions’ health and prosperity.

Raki-sip at: Bodrum

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