The Cretan spirit known as Raki

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Raki (also known as Tsikoudia) is a Cretan distilled spirit.  You will be offered it after meals by hospitable taverna patrons, often even for free, along with dessert!  What’s not to like?

The best raki, I’m told, is homemade. It’s brewed to be shared with friends and family in Crete.  Many families have their own still, or share a distillery with their (often large) extended families.  Raki is made in the autumn, once the grape harvest is done and vines have been pruned.

Some Raki makers will add wild herbs such as thyme or rosemary; others will sweeten the clear liquid with honey, making it a rich golden colour. This sweetened, very palatable blend of Raki and honey is known as “Rakomena”.
The locals claim that the spirit promotes a long and healthy life, and also aids digestion.  For these and I’m sure other many benefits, such as sheer merriment, an enhanced capability to befriend people, and to understand and speak Greek, raki is a ‘must try’ drink. Yammas!!

Contact Karma Travel if you would like to visit a distillery, or want tips on where to get the best raki in Crete!

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