what: Ksarak arak
cost: $7 per glass
The tradition of viticulture in Lebanon dates back at least five millennia to the Phoenician civilization, and evidence suggests winemaking was happening in the area as far back as 8000 B.C. The steep Mount Lebanon range can be a difficult place for traditional agriculture. It is, however, a fantastic climate for grapes.
Along with wine also comes a proud tradition of arak, a clear, unsweetened anise-flavored alcoholic drink distilled from grapes and popular across the Middle East. Arak emerged out of the practical need to do something with substandard grapes or wine that is about to go bad. The best arak is made from obeideh, a Lebanese white grape, and is flavored with aniseed from the Syrian village of Hina, where the climate is just right.
If you can’t make it to Lebanon anytime soon, your next best option is a visit to Arabesque on Devine Street, where the staff will show you how to properly serve and consume arak. On this occasion, they recommended Ksarak from Château Ksara of the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon’s oldest and biggest winery.
Arak should be paired with Lebanese mezze, small plates of food such as baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, olives, stuffed grape leaves and kibbeh. The full-bodied alkaline flavor of the drink helps to mediate the acidity of these dishes.
This Week @ Social
Edward Shouse performs Friday the 21st, and on Saturday Absolut Vodka presents A Night in Sweden, with specialty Absolut drinks and live music by Christian Slick. Follow us!
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa is now taking appointments and offering $10 off services $25 or more for first time clients. Location, hours, and more info here.
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
Now Hiring in the Vista!
Hickory Tavern is opening mid-December and looking for bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff. Apply in person: Click for details!
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season: