Different Types of Greek Liquor to Drink
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Alcoholic beverages are an important part of Greek cuisine, and the country has many different types of unique liquors. These are all very much a part of the culture in different ways. Each of these is enjoyed by people not only throughout the country of Greece, but throughout the world. These are sipped, used in recipes, and even incorporated into cocktails.
Here’s a look at some of the most prominent Greek liquors that you can enjoy:
Greek brandy, usually bottled under the Metaxa table, is one of the most common of all the Greek liquors. It is typically used as an after dinner drink, but it really can be sipped whenever you want! It is also used in some key recipes. Typical Greek Brandy is made from brandy, sweetening agents, and some unique spices. Technically speaking, it is considered to be a type of brandy liqueur.
Raki, or Tsikoudia as its known in Crete, is an alcoholic beverage made from the remnants of grapes left over from winemaking. This drink is often produced on smaller scales such as in homes and small villages. For this reason, its alcohol volume ranges anywhere from 40-65%. It’s often served cold and commonly provided after dinner or dessert.
Ouzo is one of the most commonly drank spirits in all of Greece. Even though its roots go back to the 14th century, major production did not start until the 19th century following Greek independence. Due to its licorice taste (attributed to anise), ouzo is commonly compared to absinthe. Ouzo is usually mixed with water and served on ice, or it can be consumed neat in a shot glass.
Similar to ouzo but sweeter, Mastika is made with the resin from the mastic tree. This resin gives the drink a fragrant, cedar-like flavor that is unique to the Mediterranean region. The spirit is primarily used as an after-dinner beverage due to its sweet taste. Think of it as a dessert wine, but with a more pine-like flavor (yum!). Because it has a unique flavor profile, Mastika is also used for medicinal purposes such in aiding digestion.
The process of making Tsipouro is similar to that of Raki or Tasikoudia because they all combine grape skin leftovers from winemaking. Therefore, the flavors are similar in nature but more closely aligned with ouzo due to the addition of anise. It is popular to enjoy Tsipouro straight from the freezer in the form of a shot. You can also enjoy it diluted with water or served on ice. Like many of the Greek spirits, it is customary to enjoy after a meal and in social gatherings.
The unique flavors and regional ingredients give these drinks an authentic taste found nowhere else in the world. They all have an important place in Greek cuisine and those who live in Greece enjoy these on a regular basis. These also make for great souvenirs to bring home from your trip to Greece!
Categorized in: Greek Cooking
This post was written by GreekBoston.com