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Hookah and Arak

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  #1  
Old October 24th, 2008, 11:33 PM
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Default Hookah and Arak

How many of you guys know of or drink it? Arak is a Lebanese drink (although many nearby countries make it as well in the same form or another) that is 100%, broken 50/50 with water and poured over ice. There is a good amount of anise in it and is enjoyed with food an in my opinion compliments hookah. I know Kingboib and Aburonin enjoy it as well. I was just sipping some with some cheese and snacks as well as smoking hookah. I thought how much it would have been better with double apple because of the anise in it. Are you guys familiar with it?
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  #2  
Old October 25th, 2008, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

I have no love for anise, fennel or similar flavors regrettably. I want to like it but every time I give it a shot it just makes my stomach not happy. I think regional liqueurs are lovely if under appreciated though.
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  #3  
Old October 25th, 2008, 04:04 AM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

its good stuff, but its not lebanese, its syrian...

and if you really think it is lebanese, just remember lebanon is really western syria :P
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  #4  
Old October 25th, 2008, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

Arak as in alcohol? In iran we have Aragh (or Aragh Saggy) which is home made vodka that knocks you to your ass lol.
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  #5  
Old October 25th, 2008, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

Quote:
Originally Posted by photolinger View Post
its good stuff, but its not lebanese, its syrian...

and if you really think it is lebanese, just remember lebanon is really western syria :P
there's tons of propaganda Syrian school kids are exposed to, but the truth remains, thats a misleading and false statement. There are tons on similarities between the two people but the difference are just as much. btw, PL Syria's leadership is finally, after 50-60 years, recognizing Lebanon as independent
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  #6  
Old October 25th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

Go hug a cedar tree, Jonh. :P

And yes, DJ H, that stuff. In Sudan they'll even make that stuff from anything they find.
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  #7  
Old October 25th, 2008, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

i've had it several times before but never really liked it, I drink it when people serve it to me at persian get togethers and what not but it's not my thing but I can see how it compliments the anise flavors like nakhla DA
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  #8  
Old October 25th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

Quote:
Originally Posted by ************* View Post
there's tons of propaganda Syrian school kids are exposed to, but the truth remains, thats a misleading and false statement. There are tons on similarities between the two people but the difference are just as much. btw, PL Syria's leadership is finally, after 50-60 years, recognizing Lebanon as independent
Not only has the Bathist gov. of Syria recognized Lebanon as independent, They recently opened official diplomatic relations(embassy, ambassador,ect.). But let's be fair. Assad and his allies still pull many of the levers of power in Lebanon.
Anyway, back on topic. I'm a huge fan of Arak.Goes great w/a nice bowl of double apple. There's nothing better than putting the kids to bed and relaxing w/a drink and a smoke. Johnny knows what I'm sayin'.
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  #9  
Old October 25th, 2008, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

I admit that I am biased towards pan-Arabic thinking and fairly open to the idea that the French artificially broke up Arabic land in 1926 to help maintain colonial control. As a result, I tend to side with the Syrian view. Still, the matter is complicated from an entho-graphic and religious standpoint which puts my disposition on shaky ground.

As to Arak I have not had it in such a long time that I can't form any opinion on it other then that I think I enjoyed it. Is it possible to get in the West?
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  #10  
Old October 25th, 2008, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

you can easily get it in the west, here is a good online source: http://www.missionliquor.com/Store/Q...07A1B0000002B1
and before me and PL get into headlocks over differences, I will boldly state that Lebanese Arak is much better than Syrian Arak
PL, please tell me we can agree on that one, I have 2 Syrian bottles collecting dust and about 8 Lebanese bottles that I have trouble choosing from as they are all great, I will let you have this PL I came across 1 Lebanese bottle that was terrible. Anyways, I can recommend some good ones off this site if anyones interested. Also, back on subject, anyone else?
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  #11  
Old October 25th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

I love Arak!!! Before Absinthe became legal in the states, I would drink Arak. I still like Arak's price tag over Absinthe though. Arak with Nakhla's Double Apple is a intense.
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  #12  
Old October 25th, 2008, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

Sounds like Ouzo. Probably introduced by the Greeks (just thought I'd toss that one in there )
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  #13  
Old October 25th, 2008, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

1. It is not Ouzo, although many people believe they are of similar flavor...
2. It is very similar to the "Absinthe" sold here in the US
3. Fakra is my personal favorite brand.
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  #14  
Old October 25th, 2008, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

Thank you for the link John. I am not sure that I can get liquor imported but i'll try and at least now I know what to look for. Also, I enjoyed talking briefly with you about the Maronite Church. I feel that I am semi-literate on Coptic & Orthodox theology so Maronite stuff is something I need to get brought up speed on.
At to Absinthe I don't think that anything else can be like it that doesn't use wormwood.

Good thread all.

Last edited by Hajo Flettner; October 25th, 2008 at 07:12 PM.
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  #15  
Old October 25th, 2008, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngriestPhx View Post
I love Arak!!! Before Absinthe became legal in the states, I would drink Arak. I still like Arak's price tag over Absinthe though. Arak with Nakhla's Double Apple is a intense.
Regrettably Absinthe available in America is not true Absinthe, unless you make it yourself that is or manage to get real lucky importing it in.
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  #16  
Old October 25th, 2008, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajo Flettner View Post
As to Absinthe I don't think that anything else can be like it that doesn't use wormwood.
Agree -- and I have had a few real absinthe-fueled "lost weekends" to show for it...
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  #17  
Old October 25th, 2008, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

the thing that is stupid there is nothing in any law that out laws absinthe other than just authorities said no

there was a very interesting thing about it with on hist channel a while back during the alcohol modern marvels
-matt
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  #18  
Old October 25th, 2008, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajo Flettner View Post
At to Absinthe I don't think that anything else can be like it that doesn't use wormwood.
Well a lot of American Absinthe does use wormwood but at tragically low ratios. If you take a small amount of wormwood and steep it for 10 days you can give a respectable amount of characteristic bitter to any lightweight Absinthe without the psychoactive properties of course.
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  #19  
Old October 25th, 2008, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

what i saw according to an absinthe maker that has tried to duplicate the old recipes of it they had said the phycological stuff is more due to the lead in the equipment used to make it and not the ingredients

-matt
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  #20  
Old October 25th, 2008, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

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Originally Posted by Kalkail View Post
Well a lot of American Absinthe does use wormwood but at tragically low ratios. If you take a small amount of wormwood and steep it for 10 days you can give a respectable amount of characteristic bitter to any lightweight Absinthe without the psychoactive properties of course.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalkail View Post
Well a lot of American Absinthe does use wormwood but at tragically low ratios. If you take a small amount of wormwood and steep it for 10 days you can give a respectable amount of characteristic bitter to any lightweight Absinthe without the psychoactive properties of course.
The whole time I lived in the states I never once found a decent Absinthe which is not surprising since it's very much an art that is largely lost and one that was never particularly strong in the states. As to wormwood it is a stimulant as well as bitering agent and gives it a green hue as well. The amount of wormwood used varies quite a bit by region so low levels don't make the drink necessarily bad. What America does produce of note are Spruce, bran and Maple which are quite delightful.

Mattathayde, lead consumption has a wide variety of health problems but psychotropic effects are not among them. People used to assume that thujone (a chemical present Wormwood) was responsible but that notion is passe. Honestly I think that the bizarre stories attributed to Absinthe consumption have more to do with drunkenness then the drink itself.
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  #21  
Old October 25th, 2008, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajo Flettner View Post
The whole time I lived in the states I never once found a decent Absinthe which is not surprising since it's very much an art that is largely lost and one that was never particularly strong in the states. As to wormwood it is a stimulant as well as bitering agent and gives it a green hue as well. The amount of wormwood used varies quite a bit by region so low levels don't make the drink necessarily bad. What America does produce of note are Spruce, bran and Maple which are quite delightful.

Mattathayde, lead consumption has a wide variety of health problems but psychotropic effects are not among them. People used to assume that thujone (a chemical present Wormwood) was responsible but that notion is passe. Honestly I think that the bizarre stories attributed to Absinthe consumption have more to do with drunkenness then the drink itself.
i agree with the drunk issue being a huge factor of it but i remember there was a drink in ancient greece (or rome, i cant remember off hand) that was drunk out of lead vessels or cooked/produced in them and the lead poisoning lead to some psychedelic effects and then going crazy. or something along those lines but i remember there was a mention of psychedelic experiences of some kind with it.

-matt
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  #22  
Old October 25th, 2008, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

Well John, the so called lebanese have more practice because theres more christians, but in Ma lula, you can get some good shit too.

But to say lebanese is better than syrian is just odd to me, its like saying californian beer is better than american....its just a part of the whole ya know? :P
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  #23  
Old October 26th, 2008, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

PI: it's personal preference, but please let me know what your personal preference is. I'd love to share a kas arak with you one day my brotha from anotha motha.

HJ: atm i forget where you are currently but i think you should be able to get some arak anywhere in the world where there is a Lebanese community, which should be in any major European city.
As far as absinthe I have little or no knowledge on the subject so I am not sure of the comparison ...
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  #24  
Old October 26th, 2008, 03:55 AM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalkail View Post
Regrettably Absinthe available in America is not true Absinthe, unless you make it yourself that is or manage to get real lucky importing it in.
Correction.
There are several brands available here in the states that are the real stuff.
Don't believe any BS claims about thujone content. Chemical analysis on pre-ban absnithes has shown that most of them would pass under current regulations.

If it's thujone you want, just munch on some common sage. It has more thujone than wormwood. As for absinthe, it's anywhere from 100 to 140 proof . The alcohol will kill you before you start tripping.
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Last edited by uglybiker; October 26th, 2008 at 04:01 AM.
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  #25  
Old October 26th, 2008, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Hookah and Arak

While your comments about thujone content are correct it is also true that a lot more goes into making Absinthe then thujone content. Simply infusing a blend of the proper spices into a neutral spirit does not make Absinthe. I will also point out that Wormwood contributes a lot more then just thujone. The production of Absinthe is like making any liquor or ale in that it is as much a mater of ingredients as it is about production methods. Still, we are not talking about alcamey here so there is no reason why America can't produce a good Absinthe but doing so is tough. In theory on can make labic ales anywhere in the world but as a practical matter getting the right water chemistry and production methods down is a real bear.
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