Ouzo – the History behind the Greek beverage

If you are not in the mood today, be sure that ouzo can cheer you up! The anise drink has an age-old history and definitely a bright future, especially the one produced in the city of Plomari, situated on the Greek island of Lesbos. You have to see the islanders there who clearly know how to enjoy life with all their hobbies, interesting jobs and (last, but not least!) love towards the fragrant beverage! So, let’s learn some history, shouldn’t we?
  1. What stays behind the name Ouzo?
In the 19th century merchants from Thessaly, Greece have exported sheer cocoons for Marseille. In order to emphasize the product’s high quality, they’ve put stamps “Uso Massalia” (from Italian – “for use in Marseille”). One day an important figure from the Ottoman consulate has visited Tyrnavos, Greece. The moment he has tasted the local “Tsipouro” he has exclaimed that it is “uso Massalia”, which should mean “high quality”. From then on, this term has been spread mouth-to-mouth and it still stays today! star anise
  1. How did Plomari show up?
If you haven’t tried the leader among the ouzo – Plomari – then you should absolutely include it in your ‘to do’ list! It was made not until 1894 following the recipe of Isidoros Arvanitis. The ingredients: water, star anise, fennel, anisette, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and the magical herbs from Lesbos island, which are still being kept in a secret! After nine hours of distillation, the first and the last liquid are being thrown away, while the ‘heart’ stays. The latter is mixed with water up to the needed alcohol level and then filled into bottles with cork.
  1. What’s the tradition?
In order to consume it as ‘experts’ do, ouzo should be served as an accompaniment to different appetizers with opposite flavors – sour and salty or bitter and sweet. The perfect addition are also fish, potatoes, olives and, of course, feta cheese! ouzo of plomari Remember: Always share your ouzo with a good company and you will forget about the “not in the mood” days! Browse our selection of traditional Greek drinks here! Don't forget to check out the rest of our blogs: Meet the Greek Souvlaki! 4 Tips for Cooking with Wine 6 Facts about the Greek White Wine Retsina


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