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Ouzo is an alcoholic drink produced in Greece and it belongs in the category of liqueurs. It is usually anise-flavored and it's one of the most widely consumed drinks in Greece. Actually, it's considered to be the country's national drink.

plomari ouzo - lesvos map

The history of ouzo is not absolutely clear, but many claim that it already existed in ancient times in its current form or other. Its production in Greece began in the mid-19th century and it became very popular after Greek independence. The richness of regional raw materials, such as the great variety of grapes, aromatic plants (aniseed, fennel, mastic, etc.) and water contributed in the research and making of a qualitative product. The Greek cities of Tirnavos and Kalamata are reported as ancient points of production. At the end of the 19th century ouzo production concentrated on the island of Lesvos.

The process of ouzo production has not changed much through the years. In the past, ouzo was prepared in traditional stills (‘apostaktiria'), by the double distillation of pressed grapes that had been through the process of alcoholic fermentation. Then it was mixed together with various aromatic plant materials, with aniseed being the most popular. The fruit and seeds of anise were separated from the stalks in the traditional way, the so-called ‘drimoniasma'. In 1932, ouzo producers developed the method of distillation in copper stills, which is today considered to be the best method of ouzo production.. Apart from the traditional methods, today the simple mixture of pure alcohol, anethole, water and a small quantity of natural essential oils, also produces ouzo. Usually, it contains 40%-50% alcohol and up to 0,15 % anethole. The white color that is observed with the addition of water is due to the expulsion of anethole.

plomari ouzo - barbayiannis museum plomari ouzo - barbayiannis museum

According to the EEC Regulation (1576/1989) a product is named ‘ouzo’when it is constituted from at least 20% distillation product and the rest is flavored alcohol. In 1989 the product called ‘ouzo’was guaranteed as Greek and the exclusive of production was recognized to Greece.

plomari ouzo - logo

In Modern Greece, the traditional ‘ouzeri’can be found in every city and village. Ouzo is usually served in ‘karafakia’(small glass container ) and is drunk slowly, straight, on water and/or ice. It is always served together with traditional ‘ouzomezedes’- varieties of appetizers, such as seafood meat, fresh vegetables, pies, local cheeses, homemade bread or rusks. Together with good company and a lot of taste, Greeks enjoy ouzo for hours!

plomari ouzo - ouzeri plomari ouzo - ouzeri ermis

"When you have no money, come and drink And when you have come and pay; But when you have and don't pay don't come and drink."

Michalis Viglatzis's coffee - shop Aghiasos

plomari ouzo - matis shop plomari ouzo - matis shop

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