5 Beverages You Must Try at our Lebanese Restaurant

From arak to anise, here is our pick

Lebanese restaurants have become famous in Sydney for offering succulent meats, delicious dips and refreshing salads, however, much like their desserts, beverages have not received the praise or attention that they deserve. Lebanese beverages range from specially made coffee to unique liqueurs. At Zahli, we offer a number of beverages, many of which are popular in our homeland, Lebanon, and some of which reflect the flavours that Zahli holds dear to its heart.

Many diners at Lebanese restaurants (including our own), often fall into the trap of ordering what is familiar. Because many Lebanese beverages have not reached peak popularity in Australia, this, unfortunately, means that diners miss out on the opportunity to experience amazing Lebanese beverages. At Zahli, we encourage our diners to try dishes, beverages and desserts which are unknown to them in the hopes that they learn to appreciate a new cultural experience.

To help expose our diners to a new world of flavours, we’ve identified 5 of our favourite Lebanese drinks that we serve at Zahli. While some of these drinks include our own concoctions, the majority of them represent traditional beverages that are consumed in Lebanon and other Lebanese restaurants around the world.

5 beverages you must try at our Lebanese restaurant in Sydney

Almaza

Almaza is the first and one of the most iconic beers in Lebanon. Like most beers, it should be drunk chilled and will provide you with a crisp, refreshing and clean aftertaste – perfect for Sydney’s hot summer days. The beer has an aroma of grain and corn, which is unsurprising considering that corn makes up one-quarter of its grain bill. With notes of honey and flora, it is slightly sweet with a delicate character.

This beer is special to Lebanon making it no surprise that Zahli and almost every other Lebanese restaurant around the world serves it. There’s no special way to drink it, simply sit back and enjoy it with your Lebanese feast.

Lebanese coffee

Lebanese coffee or kahweh is one of the strongest coffees that you can have. It is enjoyed throughout the day but is especially satisfying after a huge Lebanese meal and with dessert. The coffee is poured from a rakweh and into cups the size of espresso cups. It can also be served with sugar.

It is typical to enjoy Lebanese coffee after a meal, so instead of ordering your usual long black or espresso shot, opt for Lebanese coffee – it will offer you an entirely new experience.

Arak

Arak is an unsweetened distilled spirit that belongs to the anise drink family. The spirit is made of two ingredients, grapes and aniseed. The latter is crushed to produce oil which gives the spirit its licorice-like flavour. 

To consume, the arak must be mixed with water (1:2) and poured into small ice-filled cups. Diluting the arak with water will cause it to turn milky-white due to the aniseed essential oil. It is important to note that water must be added first to achieve the desired milky appearance.

Arak is traditionally consumed with mezza, especially with cooked and raw meat dishes (like kibbeh nayye) and those served with garlic.

Zahli negroni

While this is clearly not a traditional beverage, it’s our own twist on a negroni. Instead of keeping the cocktail strictly bittersweet with Campari, vermouth and orange, we’ve added an extra dimension of flavour. By using the Greek liqueur, skinos, and tart strawberries the cocktail benefits from a more mellow bitterness. It’s the perfect cocktail to open your appetite before your meal. 

Moh’s mocktail

Moh’s mocktail is the only kid-friendly option on this list, however, it’s a delicious one! Reminiscent of a Lebanese lemonade, the drink is made with soda water, lemon juice, lime cordial and fresh lime. It’s sweet but refreshing and perfect for any kid interested in having a fancy drink at the table.

While Moh’s mocktail is not traditional, it’s a fun and refreshing drink that will complement our Lebanese dishes and is perfect for people who need a non-alcoholic option.

We hope that this article helps you to try new beverages when you visit us at Zahli While we know that it can be tempting to settle into well-known favourites, we promise that you’ll love every one of these drinks! 

If you are interested in indulging in authentic Middle-Eastern food as well, then Zahli, Modern Middle Eastern restaurant can gladly provide a memorable meal. Zahli is here to provide you with a culinary experience like no other. Call us on (02) 9318 2228 to reserve a table or for pick-up orders.