Today, the entire world admits that raki was first produced in the Ottoman Empire . The reason raki is referred to as ‘lion's milk' is that it is white in color like milk and in the old Ottoman pubs it used to be served in cups with lion embossing. Evliya Çelebi, the legendary world trotter, used to speak about the raki merchants as ‘ Arak retailers'. The European Council Spirits Expressions Committee has named raki ‘Turkish Raki' similar to other spirits such as Scotch Whiskey and Irish Cream Liquor.
Famous Turkish Raki, contains 40-45%alcohol
Some people believe that the word ‘Raki' comes from the type of grape called ‘Razaki', while others believe it comes from ‘ Arak ', which is produced in Eastern Mediterranean using the roots of dates. One possibility is that the anis flavored spirits made with razaki grapes was called ‘raki'.
In the last 300 years, this real Turkish spirit was mixed with many varieties from bananas to cloves, from mastica to lemons, but at the end anise was found to be the ideal flavor for raki.
Until 1944, when raki production and sales were put under government monopoly, raki producers were located in all major cities as well as Eskisehir , Edirne , Muğla, Antalya , Canakkale, Kocaeli, Konya , Samsun , Trabzon . In 1938, there were 48 raki producers and over 70 brands.
The production under government monopoly continued until 2004 and Efe Raki became the first private sector production raki in Turkey and in the world.