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Rakı is a typically Anatolian product with a cultural legacy that spreads throughout Turkey and beyond. There is no clear answer to the question of who first made Rakı. Yeni Rakı as we know it today is the product of an evolution that has developed over centuries.

Heritage

Rakı as a drink has been in the Turkish consciousness for over 500 years. Distilled using grapes, raisins and aniseed, Rakı was first referenced in literature in 1510. It was then widely distilled throughout the Ottoman Empire and in 1937 it became known as Yeni Rakı meaning “New Rakı” to symbolize the coming of the new post-war era.

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To experience the world of Yeni Rakı is to understand a part of history and Turkish culture. The Ottoman’s served Rakı with mezze dishes and this food tradition has continued to develop – so much so that when you talk of Yeni Rakı you instantly associate it with food and the Rakı Table. To sit at the Rakı Table is to talk with friends, eat delicious mezze dishes and drink Yeni Rakı over many hours. Very few things in life inspire such a respect of tradition and carry such an enduring ritual as the Rakı table.

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The rich heritage of Yeni Rakı matches its rich flavour. With its tones of aniseed and distilled grapes, it is layered and dramatic. This flavour is created through a highly crafted distillation process. It is a skilled and timely process with the flavour and texture developing with each drop.

The Liquid

Grapes are removed from their stems and pressed to create suma. The suma is then twice distilled and mixed with aniseed on the second distillation process in traditional copper stills. The finished Yeni Rakı is then aged oak barrels for a minimum of 30 days to mellow and develop its final distinctive taste.

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When drinking Yeni Rakı water is added and creates an almost mythical transformation. From a clear liquid, the Yeni Rakı turns a milky colour and texture which over time has attracted the name Lion’s Milk.

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The Rakı Table is a hugely recognised and respected tradition in Turkey and beyond. As perfect as that sounds, the Yeni Rakı table is even more than that! Philosophers and wise men of the past originally named the Rakı table as the hemdem table, meaning “cohesion through sharing.” It is the sharing of food and drink but also of conversation and time. There are no egos at the Rakı table, everyone sits down with the humble attitude of an Anatolian villager and pays close attention to whoever is speaking, or singing as the case maybe.

Rakı Table

Mezzes served are taken in small portions and the Rakı is drunk slowly. A usual Rakı spread might include several olive oil dishes, salads, pickles, stuffed vegetables, fried dishes, stews, meatballs, pastries, croquettes…the list goes on to include all manner of meats, kebabs and even offal. And of course there is fish and seafood, grilled, fried or steamed.

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Wine is often is selected to complement the food. But for Rakı, the reverse is true. Rakı is the only drink in the world with an entire culinary culture to go with it.

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The material culture that has grown up around Yeni Rakı is full of symbols that reflect its place in culture.

The Bottle

The ornaments found on contemporary Yeni Rakı bottles give several clues the rich origins and ingredients of the brand. The illustrated crest found around the Yeni Rakı logo is made up of the following symbols:

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Grapes: Anatolia’s blessing and one of Yeni Rakı’s ingredients Horses: Part of ancient migrant Turkish culture and has an important role in folk literature Drop: How Yeni Rakı is made drop by drop with intense patience Aniseed: Symbolizes Mediterranean character and the key ingredient of Yeni Rakı Fish: Inseparable part of Turkish cuisine and a delicious pairing with Yeni Rakı Still: 500 years of heritage’s distillation with rakı from the still

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Family Produced since 1937 from the finest Anatolian grapes and aniseed, this magical drink is the aniseed flavoured spirit with the highest value in the world.

Family

The aniseed used in Yeni Raki Yeni Seri is hand-picked in the first harvest of the year. Yeni Raki Yeni Seri is made from the freshest most fragrant aniseed of that particular year.

Yeni Raki Ala Years of tradition meets expert hands. Carefully selected grapes are sun-dried and mixed with high quality aniseed, then distilled three times for smoothness. It matures in oak barrels to gain the unique and distinctive flavour it’s renowned for.

Yeni Raki Ala

Yeni Rakı Ustaların Karışımı combines the most characteristic features of Yeni Rakı family in one product to offer a perfect balance of the traditional taste of Yeni Rakı, the aromatic flavor imparted by the first harvest aniseeds and the pleasant taste of Yeni Rakı Yeni Seri, and the intense aroma of Yeni Rakı Âlâ, matured in oak barrels.

Ustaların Karışımı

From the atmospheric streets of Istanbul, to the sun soaked beachside of California, – Yeni Rakı is served throughout the globe alongside a constant stream of meze dishes and good company.

Today

The prime objective and enduring part of the rakı table and surrounding culture is not just the eating or drinking, but sharing through conversation. This tradition isn’t the reserve of the old, today younger generations honour the Rakı table and all that comes with it. A lot might have changed in Turkey in 500 years; however the ritual around drinking Yeni Rakı still prevails in restaurants and throughout contemporary culture.

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According to Impact Databank 2015, Yeni Rakı is the World’s Number 1 anise spirit in terms of retail value and In Turkey, Yeni Rakı is the first brand that comes to consumers minds when thinking of Rakı and as such enjoys strong consumer loyalty.

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