Raki (tsikoudia), Crete Island
This is the famous local drink of Crete. It is produced in late October or early November and it is distilled from grape skins. It is transparent, very strong and in the summer it is served cold. Raki or tsikoudia is for Crete what ouzo is for the rest of Greece.
Nearly every single meal I had on Crete (except breakfast) was followed by a complimentary shot of raki, and in many cases an entire carafe of it. In other parts of Greece I have been served ouzo, but this was my first taste of raki. I got kind of used to it, but in all honesty I thought it was like swallowing an angry porcupine that has been doused in gasoline and lit on fire. In my tour book it said it's insulting not to drink raki that is given to you, but I asked a waitress about this in Paleochora and she said they only serve it to tourists, never to Greeks, and that it's no big deal at all if you don't drink it.
Well Tsikoudia is the official name of Raki in Crete. They drink it in shots and if you are not used to it, you may feel bad after you drink the second shot. Most likely you will be offered some shots somewhere sometime by somebody, traditionally they inisist on thier guests to drink with them if you cannot more bettter to start looking for good excuses.