Monday 16 December 2013 (6:00 - 7:30 pm - Open to all)
Language: English (assisted by Arabic)
The Arak "baladi" is made or served at every corner: in restaurants, at home among family members and with friends still living in their native villages. (See Gallery below). They all claim that the product they make is the best one can find but that they sell only to close friends and relatives. There are many varieties and quality levels. Results vary from superior products to those that that give you a dreadful hangover and dry mouth the next morning.
The presentation will lead you through every step of Arak making from the fermentation of the grapes, to the distillation of the mash, to the second distillation with anise seeds, to the resulting final product. Should you have the proper location, by the end of the presentation, you should be able, technically speaking, at least, to be able to produce your own Arak "baladi." Just like cooking, however, technical know-how is only the first step. What you will still need are good quality ingredients, patience, and your personal artistic touch.
Download the Presentation (in Color): Click Here
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Nabil Soubaih: like most Lebanese of my generation, Arak was part of our lives. For as long as I can remember: drinking Arak, talking about it and savoring mezze with friends or family was the extent to which I had any knowledge of Arak. Then one day while I was chatting with my brother, we wondered if any cocktails could be concocted with Arak as a basic ingredient. Even though doubtful that any existed, I did my homework googling the topic on the web. To my surprise, I found plenty of cocktail mixes suggested either by Arak makers or lovers. Bit by bit, the idea of writing a book about Arak started to build up in me. I believed that our national drink deserved such an endeavor. I continued researching the web and discussing related topics with "baladi" (local) Arak makers. I ended up writing a book about Arak, mezze and the way of life they portray. (It is in the process of getting published). Not satisfied with merely writing about Arak and how it is made, a friend of mine and I decided to start producing our own Arak "baladi".
As for my background, I have a Maitrise degree in Physics. I have gone through various jobs and almost in that order: Teacher, Educational Consultant, Secondary School Director, Telecom Training Center Manager, Human Resources Director and Advisor to CEO for Training and Human Resources. There's my life in exactly 40 words.