TypeDistilled alcoholic spirit
Country of origin Sudan
Region of originSudan and South Sudan
Alcohol by volume Variable, 30–80%
Proof (US)60–160°
Ingredientsdates, water, yeast
Boy distilling alcohol in South Sudan; most araqi is made in home stills like this.

Araqi (Arabic: عرقي, romanizedʿaraqī; also araki, aragy)[1] is a date-liquor distilled in Sudan. The 1983 introduction of sharia in Sudan prevented licit sales of alcohol, but a black market exists to meet local demand. The drink is made by mixing dates with water and yeast, fermenting the mix, and then distilling it. It is usually drunk neat.[2]

During the war in Darfur, a number of southern Sudanese women came to the north as refugees, and found that some of the only professions available to them were prostitution or brewing araqi, the latter being a skill some already had, with a reliable market demand. A 2000 UN report noted that 80% of the women in Khartoum's women's prison were there on charges of prostitution or brewing araqi.[3]

Araqi is also popular in South Sudan, which split from Sudan in 2011 and where alcohol is legal.[4]

Home distilling can lead to methanol poisoning; 10 died and several others were blinded by a batch of incorrectly distilled araqi in East Darfur in 2017.[5]

In 2020, a new law permitted alcohol sales to non-Muslims in Sudan.[6]

See also


  1. ^ "After Decades of Civil War, Can Sudan Survive Peace?". WRMEA.
  2. ^ "Sudan's date-gin brewers thrive despite Sharia". BBC News. 2010-04-29.
  3. ^ Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf (1 August 2009). Transforming Displaced Women in Sudan: Politics and the Body in a Squatter Settlement. University of Chicago Press. pp. 73–. ISBN 978-0-226-00201-9.
  4. ^ ""Wine/Gin" Making in the Sudan". March 28, 2018.
  5. ^ "Deadly drink kills at least ten, blinds two in East Darfur". Radio Dabanga. 15 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Sudan legalises alcohol for non-Muslims for first time in 40 years". The Irish Times.