Nita Weinberger

Nita Weinberger

Published: 09 Jul 2023


Arak is a fascinating city that holds a rich history and cultural significance. Located in the central part of Iran, Arak is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and warm hospitality of its residents. Whether you are a history buff, an adventure seeker, or a culture enthusiast, Arak offers a wide range of experiences that will captivate you.

In this article, we will delve into 42 intriguing facts about Arak, shedding light on its historical landmarks, vibrant festivals, mouthwatering cuisine, and much more. So, sit back, relax, and let us take you on a journey through the wonders of this enchanting city.

Table of Contents

Arak is a popular alcoholic drink in the Middle East.

Arak is a traditional liquor that is widely consumed in countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq.

It is commonly referred to as the “Lion’s Milk.”

Arak is often called the “Lion’s Milk” due to its opaque white appearance when mixed with water.

It is made from fermented grapes.

The base ingredient of Arak is usually fermented grapes, similar to the process of making wine.

Aniseed is a key ingredient in Arak.

Arak gets its distinct flavor from the addition of aniseed during the distillation process.

The production of Arak dates back to thousands of years ago.

The origins of Arak can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia, making it one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the world.

Arak has a high alcohol content, usually ranging from 40% to 60%.

The strong alcoholic nature of Arak makes it a potent drink that is usually enjoyed in moderation.

It is traditionally served with mezze.

In the Middle Eastern culture, Arak is often paired with a variety of small dishes known as mezze, including hummus, tabbouleh, and falafel.

It is often diluted with water before consumption.

To enjoy the full flavor and aroma of Arak, it is common to mix it with cold water, which turns the beverage into a milky white color.

Arak is known for its anise-flavored taste and aroma.

The addition of aniseed gives Arak a distinct licorice-like flavor and a refreshing scent.

It is traditionally consumed during social gatherings and celebrations.

Arak is closely associated with festive occasions and is commonly shared among friends and family.

The process of making Arak involves distillation.

After the grapes are fermented, the liquid is distilled in copper stills to produce the potent Arak spirit.

Arak is aged in clay jars.

Traditionally, Arak is matured in terra cotta jars, which infuses it with unique flavors from the clay.

It is often enjoyed with ice cubes.

Many people prefer to serve Arak over ice cubes to enhance its chilling effect and mellow down its strong taste.

Arak is known for its smooth and full-bodied texture.

The combination of grape fermentation and aniseed distillation gives Arak a velvety mouthfeel.

Each region in the Middle East has its own variation of Arak.

While the basic recipe remains the same, different regions add their own unique twist to the production process, resulting in varying flavors and aromas.

Arak is often enjoyed as an aperitif.

Many people prefer to start their meals with a glass of Arak to stimulate the appetite and enhance the overall dining experience.

It is typically consumed in small glasses.

To savor the subtleties of Arak, it is best served in small glasses, allowing the drinker to appreciate its aroma and flavor.

Arak is sometimes used in cooking.

Arak is occasionally used as an ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine, adding a unique twist to sauces, marinades, and desserts.

It is a versatile beverage that can be enjoyed in different ways.

Arak can be consumed neat, mixed with water, or even used as a cocktail base, showcasing its adaptability.

Arak has cultural significance in the Middle East.

Arak is not just a beverage; it is deeply ingrained in the Middle Eastern culture and often associated with hospitality and warmth.

The production of Arak requires skilled distillers.

Master distillers play a crucial role in crafting premium Arak, ensuring that the flavors and characteristics are well-balanced.

Arak has gained international recognition.

In recent years, Arak has garnered attention from international spirits competitions and has started to gain popularity outside of the Middle East.

The aniseed used in Arak production is sourced from different regions.

Aniseed is often imported from countries like Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon to ensure the authentic taste of Arak.

Arak is often enjoyed with a hookah.

Pairing Arak with a hookah, or water pipe, is a popular social activity in some Middle Eastern countries.

The quality of the grapes used contributes to the flavor of Arak.

High-quality grapes result in a smoother and more refined Arak, while lower-quality grapes can lead to a harsher taste.

Arak has a loyal fan base.

Once someone develops a taste for Arak, they often become loyal patrons of this traditional beverage.

The “Ouzo effect” is observed when water is added to Arak.

Similar to the louche effect seen in Absinthe, the addition of water causes Arak to turn cloudy due to the essential oils in the aniseed.

The flavor of Arak intensifies with time.

As Arak ages, its flavor profile becomes more complex, with deeper notes and enhanced aromatic qualities.

Arak is often associated with sunshine and warmth.

Due to its popularity in the sunny regions of the Middle East, Arak is often associated with outdoor gatherings and relaxation.

Arak is commonly enjoyed during Ramadan.

During the holy month of Ramadan, Arak is often consumed after sunset to mark the end of the fasting period for the day.

Arak has a strong cultural heritage.

Arak is deeply rooted in Middle Eastern traditions and plays a significant role in various social and religious ceremonies.

It is said that Arak aids in digestion.

Arak is believed to have digestive properties, making it a popular choice to enjoy after a heavy meal.

Arak has historical connections to ancient Persia and Babylon.

The production and consumption of Arak can be traced back to the ancient empires of Persia and Babylon.

Arak is exported to several countries around the world.

Arak has gained popularity beyond the Middle East and can be found in specialty liquor stores in various parts of the world.

The traditional Arak serving ritual involves pouring water over an ice cube.

When serving Arak, the water is carefully poured over a single ice cube in the glass, creating a mesmerizing cloud-like effect.

Arak has a loyal following among bartenders.

Arak’s unique flavor and versatility make it a favorite ingredient among bartenders who enjoy experimenting with traditional Middle Eastern flavors.

The aniseed used in Arak production has medicinal properties.

Aniseed is known for its potential health benefits, including aiding digestion and soothing coughs.

Arak is an integral part of Lebanese culture.

In Lebanon, Arak is considered the national spirit and is deeply ingrained in the country’s culinary traditions.

It is customary to clink glasses and say “Saha” before taking a sip of Arak.

Saying “Saha” is a traditional toast in the Middle East, often accompanied by clinking glasses before enjoying a drink.

Arak has inspired creative cocktail recipes.

Bartenders have crafted innovative cocktails using Arak as a base spirit, combining it with citrus flavors and exotic ingredients.

Arak has a distinctive aroma that lingers in the glass.

The sweet and herbal scent of Arak can be experienced long after the glass is empty, leaving a pleasant lingering fragrance.

Arak is an acquired taste.

Due to its unique flavor profile, it may take some time for newcomers to appreciate and acquire a taste for Arak.

Arak is undoubtedly a fascinating and culturally significant beverage that has stood the test of time. Whether enjoyed during lavish celebrations or intimate gatherings, it continues to captivate both locals and international enthusiasts with its rich history, distinctive flavor, and timeless charm.


Arak is a fascinating city with a rich history, captivating culture, and breathtaking landmarks. From its ancient ruins to its bustling bazaars, there is no shortage of things to explore and discover in this vibrant city. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a food lover, or a nature enthusiast, Arak has something for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in this hidden gem of a city.


1. What is the best time to visit Arak?

The best time to visit Arak is during spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and pleasant.

2. Are there any famous landmarks in Arak?

Yes, Arak is home to several renowned landmarks, including the Soltan Abad Square, Khaju Bridge, Amirkabir Dam, and Shazdeh Garden.

3. Can I try authentic Araki cuisine in Arak?

Absolutely! Arak is known for its delicious cuisine, and you can indulge in authentic Araki dishes such as Chelo Kabab, Ghormeh Sabzi, and Fesenjan at local restaurants and eateries.

4. Is it easy to navigate around Arak?

Yes, Arak is relatively easy to navigate, with well-marked roads and reliable public transportation options such as taxis and buses. Additionally, many popular attractions are within walking distance of each other.

5. Are there any accommodations in Arak?

Yes, Arak offers a range of accommodations to suit every budget, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses. You can choose from a variety of options based on your preferences and needs.