From Greek Ouzo to Middle Eastern Arak, World's 7 Unique Spirits
Image Credit: Arak is a very popular drink in the Middle East. Image via Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to spirits, most people think of the usual suspects: whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum. However, are you aware of these distinctive spirits from around the globe that are worth a shot? The fiery arak of the Middle East to the smooth cachaça of Brazil, there are plenty of spirits that offer a taste of different cultures and traditions. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most interesting and unique spirits from around the world.

Arak - Middle East

Arak is a traditional spirit that is popular in the Middle East, particularly in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. It is made from aniseed and grapes, and is often served with water and ice. Arak has a strong, aniseed flavour and is known for its fiery kick. It is usually consumed as an aperitif, and is often paired with mezze, a selection of small dishes that are served as appetizers.

Cachaça - Brazil

Cachaça is a spirit that is made from sugarcane juice, and is the main ingredient in Brazil's national cocktail, the caipirinha. It is similar to rum, but is made from fresh sugarcane juice instead of molasses. Cachaça can be aged in barrels, which gives it a smooth, woody flavour. It is often consumed straight, but is also used in cocktails and mixed drinks.

Pisco - Peru and Chile

Pisco is a clear, grape-based spirit that is popular in Peru and Chile. It is made from a specific type of grape, and is distilled to create a smooth, flavourful spirit. Pisco is often consumed straight, but is also used in cocktails and mixed drinks. It is the main ingredient in the Pisco Sour, a cocktail that is popular in both Peru and Chile.

Rakia - Balkans

Rakia is a fruit brandy that is popular in the Balkans, particularly in Serbia, Bulgaria, and Croatia. It is made from fermented fruit, and can be made from a variety of fruits, including plums, apricots, and grapes. Rakia has a strong, fruity flavour, and is often consumed as an aperitif or digestif. It is also used in cooking, and is sometimes added to desserts or used as a marinade for meat.

Baijiu - China

Baijiu is a traditional Chinese spirit that is made from sorghum, although it can also be made from other grains such as wheat, barley, or rice. It has a strong, pungent flavour that can be quite overpowering for those who are not used to it. Baijiu is often consumed as part of a formal banquet or other special occasion, and is usually served at room temperature or slightly warmed. It is also sometimes used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is believed to have medicinal properties.

Ouzo - Greece

Ouzo is a Greek spirit that is made from aniseed, which gives it a liquorice-like flavour. It is usually served as an aperitif, and is often consumed with meze, a selection of small dishes that are served as appetizers. Ouzo is usually served with water, which causes it to turn cloudy and gives it a milky appearance. It is also sometimes used in cooking, where it can add a unique flavour to dishes such as seafood or lamb.

Absinthe - Switzerland

This spirit is said to have originated in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland in the late 18th century. It has a reputation for being hallucinogenic, although this is largely a myth. Absinthe was banned in many countries for much of the 20th century, but has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity. It is often consumed by pouring a small amount into a glass, and then placing a slotted spoon with a sugar cube on top. Ice-cold water is then poured over the sugar cube, which causes the absinthe to turn cloudy and louche. Absinthe has a strong, herbal flavour that can be quite bitter, and is usually consumed as a digestif.

Whether you're sipping on baijiu in China, enjoying ouzo in Greece, or trying absinthe in Switzerland, each spirit has a story to tell and a culture to share. These unique spirits are not just a drink, but a reflection of the people and traditions that produce them.

These are just a few examples of the unique spirits that can be found around the world. Each one offers a taste of a different culture and tradition, and can be enjoyed on its own or in a variety of cocktails and mixed drinks. So the next time you're looking for something new and different to try and you are visiting these countries, consider exploring the world of unique spirits. Who knows, you might just discover your new favourite drink.