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Crete ● Greece ● 24 July 2016

Traditional Greek Spirits



In Greece and especially in Crete, raki is one of the most traditional spirits. In the old times is was the worker's drink, who could not afford to buy something more expensive to drink.

The process of the raki distillation, is a unique ritual. The remnants of the must from the production of wine, which remains after the crash of the grapes, are sealed in barrels. They remain there until the brewing process has finished and they are ready for the distillation process. The product coming from the brewing process is called "tsikoudia" and from this derives the other name of raki which is "tsikoudia". The next step is to remove the "tsikoudia" with its liquids from the barrels and place it in cauldrons (large cooking pots) the so called "rakokazana" or "amvikes". These cauldrons are completely sealed, put on fire, the boiling process continuous until they reach the necessary temperature in order to begin the distillation process. the experienced distillers know that the slow pace in the hole process is the key of success. Each cauldron might need three hours. From a pipe which is connected with the lid of the cauldron and is cooled with water, flows the steam which then is liquefied as raki. The first extract is considered the strongest. Raki in contrast with other traditional spirits like "tsipouro" is a product of single distillation where no herbs are added. Nowadays bartenders use raki as a base ingredient for signature cocktails, you may also find it with honey warm or cold scented with cinnamon and clove. In Crete raki is a part of hospitality, especially during dinners the guests are offered at leas one shot of this spirit. Last but not least even if someone gets drunk with raki there is no way that the next day he will have a hangover since this is a pure, natural spirit.

Where to Stay

Hotel in Heraklion, Greece Park Hotel
Park Hotel
19, Evrou Str., 71303 Heraklion, Greece

Park Hotel is located in Heraklion, close to Ammoudara Beach and only a 10-minute drive from the city centre. Heraklion Port is 4.8 km away and Heraklion International Airport is 7.7 km away.