The Ouzo is more than a drink. It is a smell, a taste, and a symbol of summer vacation and Greece. The alcoholic beverage was invented in the land of the gods and the sea, and today it can be made only there.
The liqueur is authentic by its ingredient – the herb anise native to Mediterranean region. So it is no surprise that the story starts on Lesvos, one of the largest Greek islands located in the northeast of the Mediterranean, between Greece and Turkey, in the Aegean Sea. Because of Lesvos`s geographical position, the origin of the unique Ouzo was possible, and its global popularization, too. The reason is that the anise grows there, but also for island ports which enabled the influences of Europe and Asia to intertwine and made inhabitants believe that life is a game and ready to experiment in many areas, including gastronomy. The origin of the Ouzo is linked to the fact that a few centuries ago the islanders had access to a variety of spices and aromas, which they used in preparing food and drinks by creating unique recipes. The Ouzo of the Mytilini brand from the Eva Distillery created according to a secret recipe is the exquisite heritage of that past. The exact proportion of the anise and other aromatic plants is confidential, so the original drink must be purchased. The product is available in Greece and in 22 other countries around the world where family-owned Eva Distillery establishes its products.
The beverage that Greeks consider an aperitif can be consumed on its own or diluted. Traditionally in Greece, Ouzo is consumed before meals to improve appetite. This refreshment may be served separately, but it is more often served with fish, cheese, meze table, or salad. It is tastier in that way. The undiluted liqueur is served in small glasses like rakija is served in Serbia, so we call the drink Greek rakija. It is more common to drink the Ouzo diluted. First-time drinkers may be surprised when they add pure water to colorless ouzo because it will unexpectedly turn a hazy white color. It’s not about magic, but a chemical process that occurs because anise oils used in the production of the Ouzo is not soluble in water. The color of undiluted ouzo changes when you add ice cubes, too.
It can be diluted with orange juice, lemonade, or pineapple juice, and when you combine it with other alcoholic beverages – such as rum or vodka – delicious and refreshing cocktails will be made. The taste of Greek coffee with the Ouzo is also very interesting. It boosts energy and cheers up.
The Ouzo of Mytilini brand comes directly from Lesvos in Greece and is named after the island’s capital. It comes with anise only from the island town Lisvori which is famous for its plantations. Greeks may say that the anise from Lisvori of Lesvos is the best. In addition to carefully selected ingredients, the company Eva takes care of the distillation process, so it combines modern technologies and a well-equipped laboratory with the old family tradition of using state-of-the-art copper stills and bottling machines. The unique drink is obtained through the gentle and slow boiling of the distillation process.
Only by tasting it, you will realize why the drink has taken such an important place in the tradition and everyday life of the Greeks. If you want to make a toast in the Greek way with the Ouzo, you need to raise a glass and clink, saying Yamas!