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History of Ouzo

plomari ouzo - ouzo metaxa bottle

From the ancient years until today the human was using scented herbals, fruits, roots, flowers and seeds, trying to create drinks with alcohol.

So, how did ouzo come to the picture?

plomari ouzo - kazani

The depositions of famous coppersmiths from Armenia and the Pont confirmed the deep knowledge of distillation in all the Byzantine empire. Plus, grapes and figs dominated Minor Asia and Thrace the same time that mastic was produced in Chios and anise appeared in Mytilini and Limnos. All those elements were necessary and enough for the production of raki.

Some professionals called rakintzides produced a drink, a distilled product from grapes raki sharing with anise and scented herbals or mastic, which succeeded, after the period where drinking was not allowed in Turkey, to conquer the well-off class of the Ottoman empire, giving those rakintzides special privileges.

As expected, the quick spreading of that drink challenged the provisional deficiency of alcohol and soon the solution in that productive problem gave the French and Russian clean alcohol. However this ease with which anybody could produce a drink of the kind, just mixing clean alcohol with water, created quality problems. You see, the final product wasn't distilled, it was simple mixed.For this very reason, a measure was taken in Smirni and Constantinople ports: in every receipt of clean alcohol, a colored substance was added, which meant that the payee had to distill the product before the use.

plomari ouzo - kazani

That was the way ouzo was created, which went about with old name of raki in many Greek areas. Its name became from the alteration of customs term 'giouzo', which means 'for use' and it's believed that it becomes from the Italian expression OUZO MASSALIA which means 'for use in Massalia', where the first changes directed.

That inscription could be found on parcels with raki which traveled to areas out of the borders of the Ottoman empire. With the destroy of Minor Asia, rakintzides came to Greece and distilling companies grew up rapidly, especially in Mytilini. The emulation between refugees and local distillers resulted in a great development in production and, of course, consumption of ouzo.

Today we've come back in the old good times, where the distilling vessel and the unlimited possibilities of Greece are accompanied with knowledge and experience.

plomari ouzo - rakokazano

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