The Ultimate Guide to Arak: The Most Popular Drink at Lebanese Restaurants in Denver, CO

Discover the origins, perfect pairings, and health benefits of Arak, the traditional Lebanese alcoholic beverage that has taken Denver by storm.

The Ultimate Guide to Arak: The Most Popular Drink at Lebanese Restaurants in Denver, CO

As a food industry expert, I have had the pleasure of exploring various cuisines and dining experiences. One of my favorites is Lebanese cuisine, which has seen a growing trend in Denver, CO. With its rich history and diverse flavors, Lebanese food has become a top choice for food enthusiasts in the Mile High City.

The Rise of Lebanese Restaurants in Denver, CO

Lebanese cuisine is a fusion of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, making it a unique and delicious dining experience. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of Lebanese restaurants in Denver, CO.

This can be attributed to the growing demand for diverse and authentic cuisines in the city. Lebanese restaurants offer a wide range of dishes, from traditional mezze platters to hearty stews and grilled meats. But one drink that stands out among all the options is Arak, a traditional Lebanese alcoholic beverage.

The Origins of Arak

Arak is a clear, anise-flavored spirit that has been enjoyed in Lebanon for centuries. It is made from grapes and distilled with anise seeds, giving it a distinct licorice flavor. The origins of Arak can be traced back to the Phoenicians, who were known for their winemaking skills. Arak was traditionally consumed as a digestive after meals or during social gatherings.

It was also believed to have medicinal properties and was used to treat various ailments. Today, Arak is still an essential part of Lebanese culture and is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

The Perfect Pairing for Lebanese Cuisine

Lebanese cuisine is known for its bold and flavorful dishes, and Arak is the perfect accompaniment to these dishes. The anise flavor of Arak complements the spices and herbs used in Lebanese cooking, creating a harmonious balance of flavors. One of the most popular dishes at Lebanese restaurants in Denver, CO is Shawarma, a dish made with marinated meat cooked on a rotating spit. The rich and savory flavors of Shawarma are enhanced by the refreshing and slightly sweet taste of Arak. Another popular dish that pairs well with Arak is Fattoush, a salad made with fresh vegetables, herbs, and toasted pita bread.

The crisp and tangy flavors of Fattoush are complemented by the anise notes of Arak, making it a refreshing combination.

The Arak Experience

Drinking Arak is not just about the taste; it is also about the experience. In traditional Lebanese restaurants, Arak is served in a special glass called an Arak glass. This glass has a narrow neck and a wide base, allowing the drink to be swirled and aerated, enhancing its flavor. Arak is also traditionally served with water and ice. The water helps to dilute the strong anise flavor, making it more palatable.

It also creates a mesmerizing cloudy effect when mixed with Arak, adding to the overall experience.

The Health Benefits of Arak

Aside from its delicious taste and cultural significance, Arak also has some health benefits. Anise seeds, one of the main ingredients in Arak, have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. They are known to aid digestion, relieve bloating and gas, and even improve respiratory health. Arak is also a lower calorie option compared to other alcoholic beverages, making it a healthier choice for those watching their weight.


In conclusion, Arak is the most popular drink at Lebanese restaurants in Denver, CO. Its rich history, unique flavor, and perfect pairing with Lebanese cuisine make it a must-try for anyone visiting a Lebanese restaurant.

So next time you dine at a Lebanese restaurant in Denver, CO, be sure to order a glass of Arak and experience the true taste of Lebanon.

Jahn Solheim
Jahn Solheim

Lifelong coffee trailblazer. Avid coffee specialist. Extreme bacon specialist. Hipster-friendly internetaholic. Lifelong organizer. Lifelong internet guru.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *