Raki, Turkish National Drink

Discover Turkey and anise flavoured lion's milk

Turkey's Signature Drink

Raki or lion's milk, which is known as Turkey's national drink, is an anise flavoured spirit. Drinking raki has its own culture, extremely strong and the clear liquor is usually diluted with water.

Raki (Lion's Milk)

Drinking raki in the company of family and friends at home as well as in taverns and restaurants is a part of special occasions. Raki, the anise flavoured drink of Turks sometimes referred to as lion's milk.

The traditional tipple is raki, a strong aniseed based spirit, which is sometimes known as lion's milk. It is clear but turns cloudy when water, ice or soda is added. Most people do dilute it with water although some drink it only with ice. Some prefer raki straight up with a glass of water on the side, although this is not recommended for inexperienced people.

Raki is so entwined with eating meze, that the meze spread is often called a raki table. Raki can be drunk with any meal yet mostly preferred by the water with seafoods.

Raki Culture and Etiquette

Raki is serious business in Turkey. Raki is the go to spirit for a celebration. However, you can't just drink raki anywhere, at any time, with anyone. All these variables depend on unspoken codes and are highly dependent on one another.

How to Serve: Raki is always served with chilled water, although some fans say ice diminishes the flavour of the drink.

Meze: Turkish appetizers (meze) are raki's perfect culinary companions, you can graze on them all night. White cheese and melon are the first appetizers to appear, at a raki gathering, you won't even have to order them.

Fasil Music: Fasil provides additional spirit at a raki gathering.

Cilingir Table: Friends gather around a cilingir table is renowned for unlocking the secrets of any heart.

Clink Bottoms: It is good etiquette to clink the bottoms of your glasses when toasting with raki.

Art of Drinking Raki

How to drink Turkish Raki? Drinking raki is an art and it has its own culture. Raki traditionally accompanies a meal of fish and in between meals, melon and white cheese are often served alongside it.

Raki, Turkey's Signature Drink
Raki (Lion's Milk), Izmir