What to Know About Greek Fruit Drinks

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Fresh blackcurrant drink with berries and ice in a heart shape, selective focusWhen most people think about beverages that are found in Greece, images of wine, spirits like Ouzo and tsikoudia, or Greek coffee come to mind. Those who really understand the Greek culture may also picture traditional teas, such as chamomile or Greek mountain tea. However, there are other beverages that are popular in Greece, such as sweet fruit drinks, or fruitades, that have been drunk in Greece since ancient times. Here is some more information about these unique beverages:

These Fruit Drinks Were Written About in Ancient Greeks

A version of these fruit drinks was mentioned in the writings of the Ancient Greek Herodotus. According to him, there was a group of individuals called the Scythians, who lived to the north of the Ancient Greeks, who lived underneath their cherry trees in the winter for protection. They would make a thick syrup out of the cherries when they became ripe and would use it throughout the winter for nourishment and often mixed it with water or other liquids in order to make it last longer. This was one of the first instances where these fruit drinks were mentioned throughout literature, and the Greeks still make a version of this beverage today. Called vissinada, this drink is made by mixing a thick cherry syrup with pure water.

Information on How to Make the Fruit Drinks

In fact, Greeks regularly make fruit syrups out of any fruit that they have on hand, and it is also possible to buy the syrups from the store. They use fruits such as cherries, apricots, berries, figs, lemons, oranges, peaches, and more. There is even a version of this syrup made from almonds, walnuts, and other nuts that are produced in Greece! They are then mixed with cold water, sugar, and a little ice in order to create a refreshing summertime drink.

Here is a basic recipe on how to make the syrup at home:

  1. Press the fruit with a mortar and pestle, a spoon, or a juicer in order to extract the liquid.
  2. Add the liquid to a saucepan with some sugar. For every one cup of the extracted liquid, you’ll want to add two cups of sugar. Consider adding some whole cloves or a cinnamon stick to the mixture while it boils to add additional flavors.
  3. Boil the mixture together until the sugar is dissolved completely and it coats the back of the spoon in a thick layer.
  4. Let the syrup cool and transfer it to a sterilized glass jar.
  5. In order to make the delicious fruit beverage, add 1 tablespoon of the syrup with 1/2 cup of fresh fruit juice to the bottom of a glass and stir. Add 2-3 large ice cubes, top off the glass with cold water, and stir.

Note that everyone has their own ideas for the proportions that are needed to make the most delicious fruity drink. If you tend to like yours on the sweet side, consider adding 2 tablespoons of the syrup or don’t add as much water. Some even prefer to use rosewater or sparkling water instead of tap water! Once you start drinking them regularly, you’ll have your own ideas of the right proportions.

These fruit drinks go great with any recipe in Greek cuisine. Click here to check out our recipes!

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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