Arak and Camels
I asked: Is kumiss/araq available in the US? Has any WAISer tried it? John Heelan answers: I drank arak in the Middle East and Southern Spain (and obviously have lived to tell the tale although it is rumoured to rot the brain- I await WAISers' comment, "Oh! That's the reason!"). It is a strong aniseed-flavoured colourless spirit which turns to a milky-white liquid after water and/or ice are added- similar to absinthe, wormwood or Pastis. It is usually served with mezza- a mix of various hors d'oeuvre-like nibbles. [After arak and mezza, few people need any more sustenance other than a helping hand to walk.] Thankfully I was never asked to try camel blood mixed with camel milk that nomads used to sustain themselves when traversing large waste tracts on foot.
RH: Arak is alcoholic. as the Russian drinks mentioned by Cameron Sawyer seem to be. There are some Muslim sects that drink alcohol. Details, please.
Your comments are invited. Read the home page of the World Association of International Studies (WAIS) by simply double-clicking on: http://wais.stanford.edu Mail to Ronald Hilton, Hoover Institution, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Please inform us of any change of e-mail address.