Arak the Casbah

Cocktail of the Month

Imbibers with a taste for the exotic will relish this quintessential cool-weather cocktail, made with arak, a refreshing Lebanese liquor with licorice and peppermint flavors. Paired with cardamom and cloves and mixed with red wine, it's an ideal fireside sip. From Holly Roberts, partner and beverage director of New York's Amalia.



4 cinnamon sticks

3 cups water

8 cardamom pods

8 cloves

4 whole allspice

1 cup artisanal arak anise-flavored distilled alcohol

4 cups dry red wine



Bring water to a boil. Add spices and continue to boil for 15 minutes. Strain water from spices.  Discard spices and allow water to cool. Add arak and red wine. Stir and serve over ice. Garnish with a small cinnamon stick. Makes 6 servings.

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