Ouzo is deeply connected with Greece. It is the spirit of Greek summer that nobody can copy. It’s probably the most social drink ever distilled. Those who share this particular flavor, come closer, speak more easily. Ouzo is the drink of companion and confession. Ouzo drinking is an art. Or maybe it’s a way of life, says Matt Barrett, an American writer on Greece. But it’s not the ouzo, it’s who you drink it with that really makes the experience, he adds. 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, Barrett says. Ouzo is an ideal accompaniment for sardines and other salted seafood such as herring and anchovies, as well as for fried squid, whitebait and other small fish. The same applies for all grilled seafood, like octopus, calamari, and certain large fish grilled with lots of sea salt. Ouzo also suits olives; olives with Ouzo is a favorite meze in olive-producing regions, such as Kalamata and Lesvos. The name “ouzo” is patented as Greek alcoholic beverage since 1989 which means that it can be produced and named in this way only in Greece. Some places with a long tradition in distilling ouzo are Tirnavos and Kalamata. But the most popular of all is definitely the island of Lesvos with ouzo of Plomari being the best example. Its production demands special skills; part of it is produced by distillation and a larger part is water flavored with various aromatic herbs, of which aniseed prevails. In Greece, ouzo is popular during lent (Sarakosti), and of course, throughout summer. In the contemporary big city,
Ouzo is deeply connected with Greece. It is the spirit of Greek summer that nobody can copy.
It’s probably the most social drink ever distilled.