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Greek Drink Ouzo

The Greek drink ouzo is Greece's famous aniseed flavoured spirit, and a great accompaniment to seafood. It is an aniseed tasting, powerful alcohol spirit, which is consumed from small glasses generally neat, with a glass of mineral water or simply served with ice. Today the younger Greek generation consume it mixed with a mixer such as cola.

The Greek drink Ouzo is a potent spirit and if you are not used to drinking alcohol take care or be prepared to have a really bad head the next day.

There are many Greek bars that sell and serve the famous Greek drink in its traditional way with small plates of appetizers; including calamari, octopus, salads and sardines. The drink is meant to be sipped slowly along with small amounts of food, usually in good company!

The most popular makes sold globally are Metaxa and Ouzo "12", but it is always worth testing local varieties as they are often just as good and better value.

Greek drink ouzo creation

Lesbos maintains to actually be the place where ouzo was initially created and today has one of the largest producers, Varvayanis found in Plomari in the southeast of Lesbos.

History of the Greek drink ouzo

Ouzo as it is today, dates back to the nineteenth century, but many think the drink to be a lot older. The claim is that Ouzo is the end result of Tsipouro, a drink that had been distilled during the Byzantine Empire by the Ottomans.

The home of Tsipouro was believed to be a monastery on the sacred Mount Athos, where 14th century Monks would make a sort of Tsipouro where anise was added to give flavour and it is considered this was at some point later known as Ouzo.

Following Greek liberty in the nineteenth century, distillers throughout the Greek island of Lesbos started the custom that is still strongly followed today.  Copper stills were pioneered in 1932 that turn out to be considered a critical element for the Ouzo creator.

The Greek drink ouzo is made from anise or aniseed which is alleged to be one of the oldest spices in the world. The famous spice is well known in a number of recipes around the globe.

Anise or aniseed has important healing properties and is found in Asia, India, Europe and Mexico. The primary component of anise fat is anethole. It is found to contain numerous healing qualities, and is considered to help conditions such as; acne, bronchial, coughs, heartburn, menstrual pains and many more.

The Greek drink ouzo is famous for its aniseed taste which comes from the Anethole. If water is added to the ouzo, it doesn't mix with the Antehole, so therefore it turns into a cloudy, milk like substance.

This traditional Greek drink ouzo is perhaps the most prominent drink connected to Greece. Plus a must to try when visiting this wonderful country and socialising with new friends. Just be aware of its high alcohol level in the Greek drink ouzo, or else your head will be spinning the next morning!

Read more about Drinking in Greece