Nothing describes East meets Pacific Northwest better than the story of Bull Run Distillery’s Oregon Arak. Unofficially known as the national beverage of Lebanon, arak is a classic Middle Eastern grape-based spirit. In the case of Bull Run Distillery’s version, the base spirit is distilled directly from Willamette Valley Pinot Noir wine (not just must) combined with anise seed from Syria, providing the best of both worlds. Bottled exclusively for the Gorham Restaurant Group (and available to taste at Bull Run Distillery tasting rooms), arak is best enjoyed with mezze — as it is traditionally served in the Middle East — where it aids in cleansing the palate in preparation for the next food flavor. It also can be sipped as a delicious and refreshing after-dinner digestif, or — as Jamal Hassan, bar director of Mediterranean Exploration Company and Shalom Y’all expertly demonstrates — mixed in cocktails. Check out the complete article with cocktail recipe here on SIP Northwest.