Raki, the traditional drink of the Cretans.
After the wine is made, the left over peels and juices are used to make raki. The peels and juices are put in bags or plastic barrels of about 20 kilo. This has to ferment for about 40 days. After that, the mush is distilled until a very strong alcoholic beverage is formed. This is called ‘raki’, the traditional drink of the Cretans. Raki is also called Tzikoudia. The taste is similar to Slivoviths from Croatia or like the Austrian schnapps.
It is served in a small carafe, usually with a small snack, like a piece of goat’s cheese, some olives or a piece of tomato and cucumber.
‘Protoraki’ comes from the first press. This raki contains so much alcohol (50 to 60%) that it is used as a medicine to disinfect small wounds and cure a cold. It has also proven its use on people with long problems. A glass is placed on the back, which creates an airtight seal and takes the cold out of the lungs.