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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

Appartment in Heraklion, Greece Matala Dimitris Villa and Hotel
Matala Dimitris Villa and Hotel
Matala, 70200 Heraklion, Greece

Located 12 km from the ancient city of Phaestos, family-run Dimitris Villa Hotel is on the coast of Messara bay, surrounded by trees, just 8 minutes from Matala beach.

Hotel in Heraklion, Greece Olympic Hotel
Olympic Hotel
43, Kornarou Square, Heraklion Town, 71201 Heraklion, Greece

Being located on well known Kornarou Square in the very heart of Heraklion, Hotel Olympic offers year-round accommodation within walking distance to all the sights and the center of the lively and bustling city of Heraklion. The distance from the main port of Heraklion is 2 km, while the international airport Nikos Kazantzakis is at 5 km.

Hotel & Appartment in Heraklion, Greece Dimitra Hotel & Apartments
9 10
Dimitra Hotel & Apartments
Kokkini Hani, 71500 Heraklion, Greece

Dimitra Hotel & Apartments is located in the village of Kokkini Hani, 11.7 km from the city centre of Heraklion. Heraklion International Airport is an 11-minute drive away and Heraklion Port is a 20-minute drive away.