Important stuff below, this Ouzo looks quite potent. After a few Ouzo’s you might feel like dancing, laughing, smiling and after a few more the slurring, falling, embarrassing etc etc starts to happen. Beware!!! “Makulu Danger”

Ouzo:Greece’s Most Popular Drink

Ouzo in LesvosOuzo drinking is an art. Or maybe it’s a way of life. Whatever it is, the island of Lesvos is known for it’s ouzo. Most cafe owners in Greece will admit that the best ouzo comes from Lesvos, also known as Mytilini,  and they probably carry one of the more popular commercial brands like Mini or Plomari. But it’s not the ouzo, it’s who you drink it with that really makes the experience. With a little knowlege and self-restraint you too can become a connoisseur of ouzo, as odd as that may seem.

The key to drinking ouzo is to eat snacks known as mezedes. These keep the effects of the alcohol from overwhelming you and enable you to sit and drink slowly for hours in a profoundly calm state of mind where all is beautiful and life is fine. In the villages where life is slow ouzo is partaken day or night. On Sundays after church the cafeneons are full of lively voices and singing, including sometimes the village priest. In many cafeneons the cooking is done by men, but in some it is a woman who does the cooking and serving and acts as den mother to the old men who come around each day. She knows their likes and dislikes, favorite seats and personal history.

WARNING! If you don’t like licorice you won’t like Ouzo

Ouzo Gianatsis My favorite ouzos are:

  • Ouzo Giannatsi from Plomari: Distilled in an old-fashioned wood burning kasani (still). Two varieties, one of 42% and the other 45% alcohol. Hard to find outside of Plomari.
  • Dimino comes in funny shaped bottles but is distilled and pure.
  • Ouzo Mini: Mild and smooth with an alcohol content of 40%.
  • Ouzo Veto: 42%. Stronger. Andrea likes this kind.
  • Ouzo Kefi: The ouzo of choice in my local cafeneon though who knows if it is really Kefi or some other ouzo bought in bulk and poured into Kefi bottles?
  • Barbayannis: The most famous of the Plomari Ouzo. Some say it’s the best. I say it’s the strongest at 46% but there is a green bottle that is only 42%.
  • Plomari by Arvanitis. It is the only ouzo with a cork and is now the most popular in Greece.
  • Then there are many other smaller companies like Kronos, Mattis, Samara, Pitsiladi all of which are excellent.
  • Ouzo Babatzim from Serres near Thessaloniki is pure and distilled andI drink this amost nightly in Athens at Cafe Evi in Psiri.
  • Then there are the commerical ouzos made for tourists and Greek-Americans who don’t know good ouzo from sambucca and are generally too sweet or in some cases just plain undrinkable. I don’t want to name them because they are big corporations with an image to preserve and employ a multitude of lawyers to help them preserve it but if you stick with the ouzos I mention above you should be OK. “Now these we must look out for and avoid”

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Now more Information on Ouzo here