The Ides of March Cocktail: Arak, lemon, orange juice, syrup, Angostura bitters

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The Ides of March Cocktail: arak, lemon, orange, syrup, Angostura bitters

The joy of arak

If you’re into arak (NOT arrack, the rum-like liquor from southeast Asia), you’re probably from some Middle Eastern country.

In fact, just about all of the Mediterranean countries have an anise-flavored liquor that they drink at celebrations. There’s sambuca from Italy and ouzo from Greece. In most of the Middle East, there’s arak. It’s an usually strong, i.e. high ABV, and strongly flavored anise liquor that louches like absinthe when you mix it with water.

Like absinthe and all of the other anise-flavored liquors, I’m not a fan of arak by itself. That anise flavor just freaks me out. I don’t even like liquorice. Never have. And I am naturally suspect of anyone who does like that anise flavor.

It’s just plain weird.

But to mix with it with arak or any of the other anise-flavored liquors? That’s joy.

The Ides of March Cocktail

I’ve written about arak before, and I have toasted the Arab Spring with it, but I wanted something a little simpler this time.

I named it the Ides of March because it’s like a transition cocktail. The death of Julius Caesar, perhaps. The move from representation to the empire. Something like that. Perhaps it could be a nod to the fact that this is Super Tuesday here in the United States, and we may have one or more demagogues running for President.

But it’s also just a cool-sounding name. The Ides of March.

To make one, build over crushed ice in a tall, skinny glass:

  • 2 ounces arak
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 3/4 oz brown sugar syrup
  • 5 dashes Angostura bitters

Garnish with an orange slice.

It’s basically an arak sour or arak with lemonade and a bit of orange. The bitters just help to round it out. They take away from the sourness and add a spice note.

It’s a great cooler on those warm Houston winter days. Sorry, you East Coasters, but it’s in the 80s here.

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The Ides of March Cocktail

3 thoughts on “The Ides of March Cocktail: Arak, lemon, orange juice, syrup, Angostura bitters”

  1. I want to drink a few of these just so I can day “beware the Ides of March” the next day. The next time I see you be sure I explain the chemical engineer’s objection to these spirits

    1. You would have to drink a lot, my friend. It is NOT a strong drink.

      I assume you’re referring to the louche effect, something that has always intrigued me. I’ve even tried to read about why it happens. All I could really get, though, is that it defies most rules of chemistry.

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