All through the Mediterranean, there are rows of long tables covered in white tablecloths and dimly lit candles. Guests sit back, relaxed in their chairs, content with good laughs and good company. There’s no music but the sounds of fervent conversations and playful chitter-chatter. That’s what drinking raki is all about – not so much the drink but the ambiance that’s created around it.
These conversations have their own etiquette and unwritten rules, some of which we’ll attempt to answer for you here:
What can you talk about around a raki table?
Anything! Drinking raki rituals are heavily steeped in all forms of communication -talking, reminiscing and laughing. Serious topics aren’t banned but it the raki table marks an evening to be jovial, so if the topic is politics, the conversation always seems to end in a good joke.
What music is played?
There’s no party music at the table, as it gets in the way of the conversation.
How is raki served throughout the evening?
Raki is about sharing and should be shared equally around the table. A glass never stays empty, even when you get up to leave, it’s customary to leave a little bit raki in your glass.
Traditionally only one person pours raki to glasses -called ‘Saki‘. If there’s no such person, filling the glasses is usually the duty of the youngest person at the table.
What food works well at a raki table?
Mezze dishes are traditionally eaten with raki -small plates using ingredients such as fish, cheese and melon. We have lots of recipes on our website specially chosen to compliment the aniseed tones of Yeni Raki.
Can you ‘cheers’ at a raki table?
At the raki table, you should ‘clink’ your glasses only once, usually this happens at the beginning of the evening after a toast is made. Traditionally it’s the oldest person at the table who initiates this.
What’s the most important etiquette of the table?
The one rule you shouldn’t break is that you shouldn’t make a raki table for just yourself. Just like good chat, it needs at least two people to work.