All posts filed under: Raki

Women in STEM and Ancient Alchemists

Yes, there is an overlap between my work with Leading Women and my Sip.Savor.Adventure! hobby. It goes beyond the fact that my first official connection is with a woman-owned and operated distillery. The overlap goes back to the tradition of alchemy in ancient times. Here’s how I know. Alchemists from the Ancient World I turn to Wikipedia to learn about the distillation process. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, to read that Cleopatra* the Alchemist (a woman who lived 1800 years ago) is believed to have invented the alembic still – a precursor to the pot still used to distill liquor. I often use the hashtag, #AnonymousWasAWoman and am not surprised to read that “Cleopatra is a pseudonym for an author whose real name has been lost.” Apparently, women in STEM have had their voices muffled for at least 1800 years. In this case, at least, they get her gender right! The alchemist known as Mary the Jewess lived perhaps as many as 200 years before Cleopatra. If you’ve ever melted chocolate or made custard …

Sipping Raki in Istanbul

I’m not drinking milk with my mezzes* (appetizers). That’s raki! In Istanbul for a client, I’m exhausted and tired of eating at the hotel. By pure luck (and with a little help from my maps app), I discover Meze by Lemon Tree. It’s a tiny, charming restaurant right around the corner from the hotel. Come to find out, it’s quite historic. Anyway the miracle of the mezzes they serve turns it into our go-to restaurant after a hard day of work. And it is where I discover that there are, indeed, differences in anise-flavored liquors. With my first meal I try the least expensive raki on the menu and am repulsed by its ethyl alcohol (gasoline?) scent and aftertaste.  Not one to be daunted, on the next visit I order the most expensive and am blown away by the difference. It’s smooth, rich, delightfully bursting with the scent, flavor and aftertaste of anise. I turn around and see that tucked away in a corner is a collection of all the rakis they serve. Meze by …