As I enter the Muaddi Craft Distillery in the village of Beit Jala, the fragrant aniseed-scented smell of arak tickles my nose. No wonder: this is the place where Nader Muaddi creates what he calls an ultra-premium spirit, made with passion, artistry, and respect for heritage. After welcoming me to his place, Nader brings out two long transparent glasses, drops two ice cubes in both of them, and then slowly pours out his valued drink. As he adds some water, the contents of the glass become crystal white.
While we enjoy every sip of our arak, Nader tells me how he started his family-owned and operated boutique distillery in 2017. ‘The history of arak itself goes back at least a thousand years. It is the ideal company of a mezze or a mixed grill because it refreshes the palate with every sip.’