Rakomelo: A Greek Traditional Warm and Sweet Alcoholic Drink


In other countries you have mulled wine or glogg, but in Greece we like our wine plain and cool. However, we do have rakomelo. The word is the combination of raki (Cretan distilled drink also known as tsikoudia-not to be confused with the Turkish raki)
and meli (honey). This is a drink that is usually served warm. You will find it in mountainous areas, even at ski resorts (yes Greece has them, 80% of Greece is mountainous).

Now this drink has spices like the mulled wine, but it also has Greece’s favorite sweetener: honey. It is often considered a home remedy for a sore throat, a small shot consumed in the evening.

Rakomelo is famous for being a Cretan drink, although there are some versions in other Greek islands.

Nutritionally, yes you have the honey and the spices that can offer some antioxidants, also it is important to note that studies have found that other alcoholic drinks other than wine also contain some protective antioxidants. Also let’s not forget that drinking raki was part of the famous Cretan diet, where men there had virtually no heart disease (in the 60’s).

If you are not able to find raki, you can try making this with grappa (although I’m sure a Cretan person would not approve).

This drink is usually made in a briki a small coffee pot like the one used to make Greek coffee. You want to make sure that you do not boil it otherwise there will be loss of the alcohol.

If I have a sore throat, I like to add a bit more honey (it also makes it sweeter).



  • 1/2 Cup Raki (or Grappa)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 small cinammon stick
  • 2 clove buds
    (you can also add few leaves of Greek mountain tea)

1. Add the raki in the briki along with the honey and the spices.

2. Warm up the liquid on low heat, while stirring untill honey melts.

3. Remove from heat when it is just about to come to a boil, and let it sit for a few minutes.

4. Strain and serve in shot glasses.

Makes 4 servings

Photo by Elena Paravantes@ All Rights Reserved

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  1. The word “raki” comes from the ancient Greek word “Rhakos” (ῥάκος), remnant, remains, left-over, rag. It got its name from the source materials used for its preparation, the remains of wine production, mainly grape peels and “Musto” (must in English). See Liddell–Scott–Jones dictionary for the ancient and modern Greek language.

  2. Lisa Orlando says:

    Thank you for “permission” to use grappa. In Albuquerque, that’s all I can find. The last time I ordered raki from Crete, the shipping alone cost $45. Buy I do use Cretan honey.

  3. I haven’t tried this yet, but just reading about it, it sounds like such a perfect drink for when I have a cold. I especially like that it has alcohol, unlike most of the “cold remedies” people write about, because I definitely think a bit of inebriation could be helpful when you have a cold 😉 Plus who knows, maybe the alcohol is actually good for a sore throat? We do use rubbing alcohol on wounds, so it’s a similar idea…

  4. excellent presentation of our favorite drink!!!
    please visit our website and request that we send you a bottle from our production

    1. Fabienne Borg says:

      What is your website please?

      1. Yes…we would ALL like to know! Yum!