In 1988, the American Red Cross awarded the Lebanese Red Cross with a medal commending it for the best rescue effort internationally. Back then the war was still raging and casualties numbered in the thousands. Volunteers from the Lebanese Red Cross displayed heroic courage in their rescue efforts.
A few years later, when the war was officially over, a group of ladies came up with the idea of publishing a cookbook as a fund-raiser for the Lebanese Red Cross always short on funds and long on needs. This arak-spiked mint tea is one of many recipes in that cookbook entitled Mijotons by Micha and Maya Sarraf, Wadad Kanaan and Fadia Wardé.
What is arak?
Arak is considered the national drink of Lebanon; it is similar to ouzo and pastis; it has a strong licorice taste. It is always offered during get-togethers with small plates of salted pistachios and other mezzes.
Here however it is a warm tea to drink at the end of a meal. The taste of arak is subdued giving out only the faintest hint of licorice.
- Boil one liter of water (or 4 cups); drop a bunch of fresh mint in the water (use several tablespoons of dried if you don’t have any fresh mint available). Infuse for 5 minutes. Drop one tablespoon of tea of your choice and let it infuse 4 minutes.
- Pour the strained mint tea in each cup, adding a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of arak per cup. Enjoy this beverage warm.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! ALL THE BEST FOR 2011!