Ziryab offers on its menu the wonderful Arak Touma made by the winery Château St Thomas in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, and reputedly using the finest aniseed from the al Heeneh area of Mount Hermon.
Arak is a 50% pure-grape alcohol made primarily in the Levant (Near East). It can be found in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Israel and Iran, and each country and producer add their special touch so it can vary quite a lot from one place to another. It is a clear, odourless, unsweetened anise-flavoured drink… with a potency that will have your mouth tingling…! Arak is a blend of French distillation methods matched with Lebanese tradition, and our Arak Touma is so smooth, after distillation four times, that it is completely methanol-free.
The delicate scent of the quality aniseed is a pure delight and a gem to drink if you are an anise-lover. Ziryab recommends drinking Aram Touma alone as an aperitivo, with ice and water (1/3 Arak to 2/3 water). Diluting the water (which is usually put into a traditional Levantine vessel called a “Bariq”) with the Arak causes it’s colour to change to a milky white substance. This interesting phenomenon happens because anethole, the essential oil of anise, is soluble in alcohol but not in water.
If not drinking it alone, you could also have it as an accompaniment one of our tapas-mezze! Many like to accompany it with barbecued meats or garlic flavours. Yalla try it!
Par Vino Naranja – an orangey sweet deluxe to accompany your desserts!
The only Spanish wine on Ziryab’s menu that is not from Catalonia, Par Vino Naranja is a pure treat that just could not be left out. We offer Par in our Ziryab experience menu accompanied by wines, with our desserts as it is so exceptional.
This sweet orange-infused dessert wine is made in the southern zone of Huelva. Southern Spain is known for its sweeter wine-making methods and sherries., so Par Vino Naranja is not at all out of place as a southern product.
It is a wine made from the grape varieties of “Zalema” and “Pedro Ximenez”, using large juicy oranges to infuse in its fermentation that are grown at the local farms of “Doñana”.
The process of making the Par vino naranja is as follows: The maceration (squeezing of the grapes with their skins) process lasts for 8 years in specially designed containers, alongside sun-dried orange peels.
The wine has a beautiful mahogany colour and, on smelling and tasting it, the orange sensations will jump out at you, giving a fresh citric sweet aftertaste, along with certain flavours of dates and other dried fruits, adding that exotic touch to an already original sweet wine.
Par Vino Naranja is a perfect accompaniment to chocolate and other desserts! Try it with Ziryab’s spiced chocolate brownie!
This grape-based spirit originates in the Levant region of the Near East where it is hugely popular. It has an anis flavour and is best prepared 1/3 Arak to 2/3 water, then added with ice to produce a milky translucent colour. Excellent with a variety of Tapas- Mezze!