Athens #2: Rakomelo!

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Remember Ana, our waitress at Anafiotika? She introduced us to Rakomelo. There are versions of it on some Greek Islands but Rakomelo originated on Crete. Ana is Cretan and her family make it, so she’s been kind enough to share the recipe.

The base is Tsikoudia, or Cretan Raki, not to be confused with Turkish Raki. Made after the season’s wine production from left over skins, seeds and stems, it can be distilled in a few hours. Families either have their own Still or share one, and the distilling process is celebrated with a party.

Grapes. Still. Raki in Crete.

From Raki comes the Rakomelo. Spices, honey and fruit are added, the taste reminiscent of mulled wine. Ana begins with 5 litres of Raki! If you have 5 litres of Raki lying around please continue. If not, try your local liquor store for a bottle and amend the recipe accordingly. There are no hard and fast rules here so have some fun tweaking and tasting until it’s perfect, or at least perfect for you.

Ingredients for Rakomelo.

  • In a large pot add:
    • 5 litres of Raki!
    • 6 cloves and 6 cinnamon sticks
    • 2 apples, 2 oranges and 2 pears, all halved
    • 2kg of honey (Yes, it’s a lot but there is 5 litres of Raki! Add it slowly and see how much you need)
  • On a low heat bring the liquid to a simmer. Switch off right before it boils.
  • Do not let it boil or the booze will burn off.

Have a taste. How is it? Let us know!

Through the cooler months, drink it warm. In summer pour your Rakomelo over ice, or even better, over ice-cream!

Discovering Ana’s Rakomelo in Athens; now that is a thing we love….