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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 Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village
Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village
11th km of old road Heraklion-Rethimnon, Tílisos, 71500 Heraklion, Greece

The Arolithos Traditional Village Hotel is located in a complex of buildings representing traditional Cretan village 12 km away from Heraklion. The distance from the Nikos Kazantzakis airport in Heraklion is 15 km. The distance from the beach is 5 km.

Hotel in Heraklion, Greece Georgia Hotel
8.9 10
Georgia Hotel
10, Vagias Str., Amoudara, 71500 Heraklion, Greece

Hotel Georgia is a family run hotel located in the area of Amoudara, just 100 m from the long sandy beach. The distance from the center of the lively and bustling capital of Crete, Heraklion is 3.2 km. The international airport of Nikos Kazantzakis is at 10 km and the main port in Heraklion is 7 km away from the property.

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

Matala Dimitris Villa and Hotel is located in Matala, Crete, just a 10-minute walk from the popular beach. The Ancient city of Faistos is just a 15-minute drive away. Heraklion International Airport is 70.6 km away.