It is an anise-flavored aperitif which enjoys immense popularity in the region. Before we discuss more about the drink, let us first shed some light on its history. The roots of the drink are in tsipouro, which was created by a group of monks on Mount Athos. Among the various versions of tsipouro, one was flavored with anise, and it is this version that is now called ouzo.
Ouzo – The famous drink from Greece
The ouzo distillation as done in the modern times started off at the beginning of the 19th century after Greece attained independence. The first distillery for the drink was founded in Travis in by Nikolaos Katsaros, who gave birth to Ouzo Tyranvou, which went on to become quite famous. When the popularity of absinthe started to diminish in the early 20th century, it was ouzo which started to take its place as a substitute. The production of ouzo went through quite a few changes.
In , the producers started making use of a method of distillation for the drink involving copper stills. It is this method which is now considered standard for the production of the drink. Among the largest producers of ouzo in the current times is Varvayanis, which is located in the southeast region of the island of Lesbos. It is common to mix the drink with water, due to which it becomes cloudy white, occasionally attaining a faint blue tinge to it. It is served with ice cubes in a small glass.
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Another option is to have it straight from a shot glass. It has been seen that the drink is usually served alongside plates of appetizers, which can be small fish, fries, olives and feta cheese.
If it is the taste of the drink that we talk about, you will find that it is quite similar to absinthe. However, the difference between the two is that ouzo is smoother. In , Greece was awarded the right to call ouzo an exclusively Greek product. Thus, the drink along with tsipouro and tsikoudia are now recognized with protected designation of origin by the European Union.
Therefore, European makers cannot use another name for the drink. Anise is then added to it. Sometimes, other flavorings in combination with anise are also added, which include the likes of star anise, fennel, mastic, cardamom, coriander, cloves, and cinnamon. The ingredients used for flavorings are usually guarded as company recipe secrets, and it is this flavoring which distinguishes one ouzo brand from another.
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The final product form uses a flavored alcoholic solution, which is also called flavored ethyl alcohol or ouzo yeast. The ouzo yeast is then subjected to distillation. The spirit present at the beginning and end of the distillation is removed since it has strong aromatics to it.
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The removed content is mixed and distilled again. The product formed by this second distillation can be used to make ouzo, which would be of different quality as compared to the one prepared after only a single distillation.
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The technique of double distillation is used by some producers to differentiate between different products. However, you will find that many producers combine the ouzo yeast with ethyl alcohol flavored with 0. Sugar might be added to the preparation before the process of water dilution. This is something which is usually done in southern Greece. Ouzo production does not involve the process of fermentation. The final alcohol by volume concentration lies between The minimum allowed quotient is Hence, if you have been wondering what ouzo is made from, you will find that the ingredients used in the process are quite common and are unlikely to place you in the realms of danger.
Ouzo is available for purchase in nearly all the cities of Greece as well as the towns and villages.
Ouzo – The famous drink from Greece – Wordly Spirits
It is traditional to sip the drink slowly alongside appetizers for several hours, usually in the early evening. The drink is usually mixed with water or ice before drinking. In other countries, the tradition is to have ouzo in authentic Greek restaurants. The drink is served in a shot glass and is chilled to a large extent before the start of the meal. It is not customary to add water or ice.
However, the drink is served quite cold so much so that the temperature is sufficient to pave the way for the formation of crystals in the drink as it is served. You will find this spirit to be quite a strong drink. The reason for its strength lies in its sugar content. Sugar is known to delay the process of absorption of ethanol in the stomach. As a result, the drinker might feel that they can consume more of the drink since they do not experience any symptoms of being tipsy.
However, ultimately, the effect of ethanol does make an appearance, due to which the person will become inebriated quite quickly. It is due to this reason that the presence of food alongside the drink is considered to be quite important in Greece. The food, fats and oil, in particular, result in the upper digestive system prolonging the absorption of ethanol, thereby removing the effects of alcohol intoxication.
It is found that the drink is not part of many mainstream cocktail drinks.
Ouzo Barbayanni Greek Ouzo Liquor Plomari Lesvos Greece
There is one variant of a cocktail available, which is called ouzini and found in Cyprus. Ouzo is found to be a clear liquid on its own. Although our facilities are very modern, we continue to produce Ouzo and Brandy the traditional way. Using old recipes of our family we produce high quality wines, spirits, liqueurs, aperitifs as well as pure spirit.
Our products are leaders in the Dodecanese and you can find them in the biggest super markets of the country. If you are in the business you can have all and any of our products with your private label. Victor is the only Greek distillery that can provide the full catalogue with private label and can service the most demanding clients.