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En Guide til Græsk Spiritus

A Guide to Greek Spirits

If you have traveled to beautiful Greece before, you have most likely also been offered a small glass of a Greek spirit.
It may have been both as an aperitif or a digestif after a meal, and sometimes both as a small welcome drink and tribute to your arrival.

Regardless of the context in which you have been served a Greek spirit, there is no doubt that the Greek population is happy to be able to celebrate any celebration, with a small glass of the sharp, and a loud shout of ''YAMAS''.

If you have not yet become familiar with Greek spirits, or you want to see if you can nod your head to all the varieties mentioned, then we have made a list of some of the good common drinks from Greece!



Greek Ouzo | Ouzo from Greece

Yes, we can't avoid Ouzo.
With its taste of anise and the typical white color when a little water or ice has been added to it, Ouzo is probably the drink that is served most of all in Greece.

History mentions its origin from Lesvos, which is also the island that continues to have the largest production of precisely Ouzo distributed among several major brands out of the countless varieties that now exist.

The same for all of them is that Ouzo, with its well-known taste of aniseed, is a long drink that should best be enjoyed in a tall glass with, for example, a piece of ice or a little bit of water, in connection with a lunch or a mezede!

See our selection of Ouzo here .

Tsikoudia / Tsipouro

Cretan Raki / Tsikoudia

For most, the picture will make more sense than the name, because in everyday speech Tsikoudia or Tsipouro goes by the name Raki, and is something most people have become familiar with if they have been on a trip to Crete, or have acquaintances who have been on the beautiful island. Here Raki is locally called Tsikoudia, where the Tsipouro name is used by the rest of Greece.

The Greek brandy at its typical 40% vol. (can be up to 65%) is distilled from grapes from the residual production of wine, which will help to give it its slightly fruity notes.

The name Raki originates from the Middle East, and the name is very widespread in Greece due to Turkey's earlier incursion into the country.
Here the Turks found out that their own brandy, called Raki, was very similar to the Cretan Tsikoudia, which is why they started calling it Raki instead - however, the Turkish version of Raki is still a brandy, just with anise added, which is why there can sometimes be doubts that Ouzo is Raki and vice versa if you have been to Turkey and subsequently travel to Greece.

See our selection of Tsikoudia and Tsipouro here .

Mastiha (Mastic) liqueur from Chios

Mastiha from Chios

Mastik, Mastiha, Mastic.... Yes dear child has many names and with us it is simply called Mastik liqueur, unless we are now talking to a Greek and get to say Mastiha instead.

Be that as it may, Mastic is a natural resin that originates from some unique trees that are only grown on the island of Chios.
Chios has become incredibly famous on the basis of Mastik, as the trees will only secrete a resin that can dry out and be pulverized when the trees grow on this island. The trees have been grafted countless times and planted elsewhere to investigate the possibilities, but it has not yet been successful - if you have been to Chios, is mastic something you have heard of!

As I said, mastic is a resin that is secreted by the mastic trees on Chios. The resin is allowed to drip onto carpets, then left to dry in the sun so that the resin dries completely and turns into solid crystals, which can then be powdered and used for various products - including the well-known liqueur.

Mastic is a very aromatic resin that has its natural elements in it, but also a natural sweetness that comes out in the Greek Mastic liqueurs.

See our selection of mastic liqueur here .


Metaxa from Greece | Greek Metaxa

One of the Greek spirits that has become world-renowned in both name and character is METAXA, also called 'The Original Greek Spirit'.

First compared to cognac, and subsequently compared to brandy, METAXA is both a name for a specific brand of high-alcohol products, but also a name for a completely new and unique type of spirit that several are trying to imitate.

Its round and at the same time intense taste is what characterizes METAXA, which was first distilled in 1888, in an extraordinary distillery in the district of Piraeus, which is the waterfront of Athens.

See our selection of METAXA here .


Rakomelo from Crete

Made on the previously mentioned Tsikoudia, Rakomelo is a little side-step to the classic brandy.
Because if you mix a Cretan thyme honey in your Tsikoudia, you get a slightly sweeter version from the brandy called Rakomelo ( meli is honey in Greek).

A drink that definitely originates from Crete, Rakomelo is the product that arises when you want to use alcohol medicinally, as it was intended for, before it became a drink for pleasure as well.

Can be enjoyed cold, as you typically do with Tsikoudia, Rakomelo can also be drunk hot, as in traditional times Tsikoudia was heated and then honey and other herbs, as well as spices, were added to obtain a remedy that could help a bad throat and further.

See our selection of Rakomelo here .

Kumquat liqueur from Corfu

Corfu Kumquat liqueur

The kumquat fruit is not typically eaten raw, although it has a sweet skin, it has a sour inside.
The fruit, which originates from Asia, was grafted and planted on Corfu by an English botanist named Sydney Merlin, who has since helped to make Corfu island famous on the basis of their supply of kumquats.

The fruit, which is related to other citrus fruits, is used in a wide context on the island, of which their Kumquat liqueur is one of their sought-after products, as a spirit/liqueur that is best served ice-cold after a meal, as a digestive, to help with digestion and give a slightly fresh taste in the mouth.

See our selection of Kumquat liqueur here .

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