In the Ottoman Empire, until the 19th century, meyhanes run by Greeks and Albanians would mainly serve wine along with meze, due to religious restrictions imposed by various sultans. Although there were many Muslims among meyhane attendants, sharia authorities could, at times, prosecute them. With the relatively liberal atmosphere of the Tanzimat Period (1839–1876), meyhane attendance among Muslims rose considerably, and raki became a favorite among meyhane-goers. By the end of the 20th century, Raki took its current standard form and its consumption surpassed that of wine. During this period, raki was produced by distillation of grapes pomace (cibre) obtained during wine fermentation. When the amount of pomace was not sufficient, alcohol imported from Europe would be added. If anise was not added, it would take the name düz raki (Straight Raki), whereas raki prepared with the addition of gum mastic was named sakiz rakisi (gum raki) or mastikha, especially if produced on the island of Tenedos. With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the modern-day Republic of Turkey, grape-based raki began to be distilled by the state-owned spirits monopoly Tekel, with the first factory production taking place in 1944 in Izmir.
Raki is an aromatic clear drink from Turkey, made through a second distillation of grape alcohol with aniseed. It is usually served straight or with water, or mineral water but in both cases, it should be served chilled.