Arak The Drink of Lebanon -
40° to 50°
One US gallon/3.785 liters alcohol of grapes or ethanol (boiling and evaporation point 78.4°C).
Aniseed – 450 grams for each gallon of alcohol at 50° or 540 grams for a gallon of alcohol at 60° (rule of three).
Water – Two to three gallons.
Time required – To distill one gallon, 150 minutes or 2½ hours are needed, from the time the drops start to fall.
Grape alcohol can be bought in the open market and suitable alcohol may also be obtained by distilling wine or cognac.
Arak may be obtained by one distillation or two. In the latter case one puts 250 grams of aniseed for the first distillation and 200 for the second.
The ingredients are placed in the retort over a low fire to begin with, in order to eliminate any methanol, the boiling point of which is 64.7°C. The first drops derived from the distillation should be allowed to half fill a coffee cup, after which the temperature may be raised until white drops appear at the end of the spout of the retort. This means that the water alone is now evaporating and there is no more alcohol in the retort.
Distillation may be performed in two stages, thus giving a better-quality arak, purer, superior, more refined, in every way better.