Rakomelo is a local Greek beverage combining raki or tsipouro with honey and several spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, and other regional herbs.
It is both warm in colour and taste and is largely produced in Crete and other islands of the Aegean Sea, as well as on the mainland.
This popular winter drink is usually served warm and you will definitely find it in mountainous and ski areas and is also often used as a home remedy that helps fight a common cold.
“When winter arrives in Greece, locals turn to rakomelo, a mix of tsipouro (a pomace brandy that’s similar to grappa, but fruitier), spices and honey. To make it, the tsipouro is gently warmed with cloves and cinnamon – orange peel is often also added – and then mixed with a little honey. The resulting drink – its alcoholic kick mellowed by the sweetness – is served in small ceramic or glass pitchers and poured into miniature cups (a Mediterranean version of those used for sake) or shot glasses; it is meant to be sipped and enjoyed in good company,” says The Guardian.
“One of the most iconic places to enjoy rakomelo is Psyrra, a “disco cafe” as they jokingly describe themselves, in reality, a tiny, convivial bar in the Psyrri neighbourhood, with tables out on the street, and heating lamps and blankets to keep you warm during winter,” they add.