There is a saying in Lebanon, “the better the wine, the better the arak.” That’s why we take special care to select the finest plump Obeïdi grapes that are grown extensively in the Beqaa. The grapes are harvested by hand in September, then mechanically crushed and pressed to obtain the best Obeïdi juice.
Then come the following steps:
Obeïdi grapes are fermented into wine: 13%.
Wine is distilled in Moorish-lid stills into brouilli: low grade alcohol, around 45%.
The brouilli is distilled in the Moorish-lid stills into second chauffe: medium grade alcohol, around 65%.
The second chauffe is macerated with green aniseed grown in Hiné and distilled: low grade arak, around 70%.
The arak is then transferred to ageing vessels, special jars commissioned from Beit Chabib, in which the liquid becomes a high-grade arak after the evaporation of the angel’s share – that is the low-density alcohol that prevents arak from being smooth and silky.
It is only once the arak is properly rested, matured, and diluted to 50% that it deserves to be bottled in the distinctive blue bottle of Massaya arak.