Raki is the national drink of Turkey, where today more than 61 million liters are consumed annually - more than all of the other alcoholic drinks put together. Raki is an anise flavored drink with close relatives in Palestine (arak) and Greece (ouzo). It is made from raisins which are distilled in the normal way then the product is re- distilled with aniseed.
Raki's colour turns to white when water is added (hence it's nickname – lions milk! and literally meaning "lion's milk" is also used to mean strong, brave man, hence milk for the brave). It is served in tall slim glasses and is mixed at about one part of raki to two parts of water. Raki is often served with a separate glass of water, alternate sips are taken and some maintain that the level in the two glasses should stay the same. The idea is not to get drunk but to relax, enjoy the company, and maintain a glow. To aid this process raki is usually taken with food and in company leading to raki muhabbet (raki with affectionate and friendly conversation). Even when the main purpose is a drinking session food is often served on the side. As a minimum cubes of white cheese and honeydew melon will be supplied or a full range of hot and cold meze (hors d'oeuvre) might be served.
Raki is a very powerful drink, meals can not manage raki it manages the meals, for example you should determine the wine according to your meal but just the opposite is valid for the raki, you should determine your meals according to raki…
In Turkey similar to the spanish tapas, "meze" is the general category of dishes that are served in small quantities to start the meal off. These are eaten with "raki" until the main course is served . The main course that follows such a meze spread will be fish or grilled meat . When the main course is kebap , then the meze choices should be different . In this case , several plates of different types of minced salad salad greens and tomatoes in spicy olive oil , mixed with yogurt or cheese , "humus"(chick peas mashed in tahini) , bulgur and red lentil balls , "meetball ," marinated stuffed eggplant , peppers with spices and nuts , and pickles are likely to be served .