For Arak/ Ouzo/ Raki The People of Pleasure - A short historic narrative by Soy The first spirit ever distilled, the Arak (or "Rakı" in modern Turkish), the distilled aniseed liquor, first found life in the Alembics of the Abbasid Imperial Capital, Bağdad, at the hands of Râzî, the first Master-Distiller in History right after Distillation was invented, and immediately made its way into Anatolia, Greece and the Balkans, maturing until the Ottoman Empire, and becoming by the beginning of the 19th century somewhat of a masculinity icon among the populace. Rakı consumption gained by this means quite of etiquette to which consumers were required to adhere not to face social rejection at the meyhane tables of the former Empire, a few of these are: -Rakı is not to be drunk alone; it has to have an assortment of mezes as a company, or in the lack thereof, a few seasonal fruits, sliced. -One should only drink until tipsy, getting drunk is not socially permissible. -A rakı glass should only be used once; a clean glass is needed for each new serving, in order to preserve the taste. And most importantly, -A Man (with a capital “M”) should NOT put ice in his glass of rakı. Never! That very rule makes us face a substantial problem, as rakı is supposedly consumed chilled. We can try with very cold water and rakı out of the fridge. Fine. Until when will it stay at 5 degrees Celsius on a hot summer night? Not for long. To answer that substantial problem, came, around the middle of the 20th Century the Ehl-i Keyif; a very simple invention, consisting of a toroid recipient usually made of thick copper that is filled with water and frozen, in the middle of which we let lay our rakı glass. The latter can effectively stay ice cold for a few hours, as long as the ice in the Ehl-i Keyif stays so, and we may enjoy the chilled rakı we long for without ever committing a faux-pas. Oh, did I say Ehl-i Keyif was the Arabic for “People of Pleasure”?.. Şerefe! The Soy Türkiye team Technical Note: The Soy Ehlikeyif is the only one in the world that is totally monohull in construction, from one solid piece of thick 1.5mm copper. How it is made is a very big trade secret as anyone who knows some molding and metal forming will realize that the product's shape is almost impossible to manufacture... Anyways, Enjoy!