It’s hot. The sun glimmers on the blue sea like shiny mermaid scales.

Men sit silently rolling tiny dice on a wooden Tavla set in a small café in front of the beach. The sand is warm and children run around splashing each other on the shore. Two small fishing boats clank softly against the quay.

Next to the Tavla pieces, some pistachios, olives and a couple of glasses of cold Raki. The sweet scent of aniseed mixed with the smell of the sea.

A perfectly peaceful Turkish Cypriot summer afternoon.


Half an empty glass of Raki (N.B. Raki is what the Turks drink, but if you were on the Greek side of the island, you would just call it Ouzo)
Enough ice cubes to fill your glass
Water, to top up


Pour some chilled Raki in a tall glass filled with ice cubes. Top up with as much cold water as you like. As soon as the water hits the Raki, you’ll get a cloudy, powerful drink.

Best degusted while playing Tavla (backgammon) during hot summer days on small Mediterranean port shores.

Styling: Margherita Poggiali
Photography: Dee Ramadan