AskDefine | Define arrack

Dictionary Definition

arrack n : any of various strong liquors distilled from the fermented sap of toddy palms or from fermented molasses [syn: arak]

User Contributed Dictionary



Arabic , raisin liquor.

Alternative spellings


  1. A name in the East Indies and the Indian islands for all ardent spirits often distilled from a fermented mixture of rice, molasses, and palm wine.

Related terms


  • Finnish: arrakki

See also

Extensive Definition

For the Middle Eastern Liquor, see Arak (distilled beverage)
Arrack refers to strong spirits distilled mainly in South and South East Asia from fermented fruits, grains, sugarcane, or the sap of coconuts or other palm trees.


The word itself is derived from the Arabic word Arak (عرق, ‛araq), which means "sweat" or "strong liquor" (and in that region is usually made from raisins).

Coconut arrack

The milky coconut sap is taken from the flowers of palm trees before they bloom. It ferments quickly to become a mildly alcoholic drink called "toddy" or "palm wine" which is distilled in vats made from wood, usually halmilla or teak, to produce a spirit whose taste is usually described as somewhere between whiskey and rum. Originally from South India, where the toddy is called kallu, today coconut arrack is mainly produced in Sri Lanka. It is generally distilled to between 33% and 50% alcohol by volume (66 to 100 proof).
Coconut arrack is traditionally taken straight or with water; it is also taken with ginger ale, cola, soda or lemon-lime soda, and as a component of various cocktails.

Arrack in different countries

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, Arrack is the most popular local alcoholic beverage. Most of the less expensive brands are a blend of coconut Arrack and neutral spirits. Some of the brands are
  • V.S.O.A. ("Very Special Old Arrack")
  • Old Reserve
  • Extra Special
  • Double Distilled


Batavia Arrack is distilled in Indonesia. It is the "rum" of Indonesia, because--like rum--it is distilled from sugar cane. It is a pot still distillation, on a type of still which was influenced by the Chinese, who brought the distillation process to Indonesia.
To start the fermentation, local fermented red rice is combined with local yeast to give a unique flavour and smell of the distillate. It is distilled to approx. 70% alc. vol. Like rum, Batavia Arrack is often a blend of different original parcels.
Batavia Arrack is used as a component in liqueurs and punsch, and also in the confectionery and flavour industries. It is said to enhance the flavour when used as a component in other products, as in the herb and bitter liqueurs.


Lambanog is distilled in the Philippines, commonly described as coconut wine or coconut vodka. The drink is distilled from the sap of the unopened coconut flower and is particularly potent, having a typical alcohol content of 80 to 90 proof.
As with Coconut Arrack, the process begins with the sap from the flower of the coconut palm trees. The sap is harvested into bamboo receptacles similar to rubber tree tapping. The collected sap is then put through a cooking or fermentation process to produce a coconut toddy called tuba which can then be distilled to produce Lambanog. Until recent years, Lambanog was considered a local drink comparable to moonshine or other home-brewed alcoholic beverages due to its long history as a cottage industry product.
Lambanog has recently been marketed in several flavors such as mango, blueberry, bubblegum, and cinnamon among others in an effort to appeal to all age groups.

See also



  • 1828 Webster's Dictionary

External Links

arrack in German: Arrak
arrack in Esperanto: Arako
arrack in French: Arak (boisson)
arrack in Malayalam: ചാരായം
arrack in Dutch: Arak (drank)
arrack in Japanese: アラック
arrack in Polish: Arak (napój alkoholowy)
arrack in Slovenian: Arak
arrack in Finnish: Arrakki
arrack in Swedish: Arrak
arrack in Turkish: Arak
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