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Greek Ouzo: Drinking with the Gods

Updated on April 23, 2013

Ouzo, The World-Famous Greek Aperitif

Ouzo is an alcoholic drink of exclusively Greek origin with a characteristic anise flavour.

Age-old techniques are employed for the preparation of the liquor, and the art of its consumption has evolved through time to include particular rituals of serving, drinking and accompanying ouzo with the appropriate plates called mezè (or mezédes, in plural).

Ouzo consumption has also a social aspect. People don't drink alone; they do so in company of people they want to share with. Cordial conversation ensues and treats to friends are always a possibility. Because gifts of the Earth are just passing by the hands of man, a Greek fares better by knowing he has handed out to his fellow men.

The gathering of men at the coffee shop kafeneio or at the local taverna is a scaled informal reenactment of the ancient Agora, where citizens gathered to get informed, talk about the latest & hottest, make acquaintances, and debate political matters.

That is why we say people would love to learn how to drink ouzo the Greek way.

Ouzo - The Mediterranean Spirit - Anise-Flavoured Drinks: Greek, Italian, Turkish, and more

ouzo mediterranean drinks
ouzo mediterranean drinks

Ouzo is a typical Greek product, although it is not the only anise-flavoured drink in the eastern Mediterranean area. The reason is that anise is a native plant in those regions, where the soil is light and well drained. Man is always inventive, and mostly so with what pleases him. Peoples dwelling around the Mediterranean Sea have, from very early times, discovered how to incorporate the seeds of the said plant in their spirits and liquors recipes.

Some alcoholic products with anise flavour include the sambuca (Italy), the absinthe and pastis (France), the arak (Lebanon, Syria), and the rakia, or raki (popular in Turkey and other Balkan countries).

We ought to make a distinction here: we must not confuse the Greek rakì, or tsikoudià, which is a typical product of Crete and traditionally not anise-flavoured, with the rakia, which is the Turkish equivalent to ouzo.

Bartender's Companion - Add Water, Drink as a Shot, Mix Into Cocktails: How to Drink Ouzo

A collection for party animals. Or for plain ol' people who just want to have some fun on a sunny afternoon.

Ray Foley is a former bartender, now editor of Bartender Magazine and author of several bartending and cocktail recipe books.

The Ultimate Little Shooter Book (Ultimate Little Books)
The Ultimate Little Shooter Book (Ultimate Little Books)

I'd never dream of mixing metaxa brandy with ouzo and grenadine, as the so-called Agean (oh dear! it's Aegean) Shooter does. I would consider though trying the African Violet (hint: name probably inspired by the colour).

Little book for little glasses.

 
The Ultimate Little Cocktail Book (Bartender Magazine)
The Ultimate Little Cocktail Book (Bartender Magazine)

Longer mixtures.

Vodka, Rum, Gin, Whiskey, Drambuie, Liqueurs, Martini, Ouzo (of course!) & other stuff I don't know anything about, because I drink ouzo on one little rock of ice ;-)

 
Bartender Magazine's Ultimate Bartender's Guide: More than 1,300 Drinks from the World's Best Bartenders
Bartender Magazine's Ultimate Bartender's Guide: More than 1,300 Drinks from the World's Best Bartenders

343 pages - soft, wipe dry cover

1,300 cocktail recipes, in alphabetical order within drinking categories

Home Bar section, also for party planning

 

History of Ouzo - When and Where did Ouzo Appear? -- Born in slavery, Grown to reach a world-wide status

The precursor of ouzo is tsípouro, a spirit produced by distillation of the skins and stalks of grapes (called tsípoura, pl.), along with small quantities of must, that remain in the wine-press. Tsipouro used to be distilled during the Byzantine era and throughout Ottoman times and, according to tradition, it was the pet project of a group of 14th century monks living in a monastery on holy Mount Athos. One version was flavoured with anise, and it is the one that eventually came to be called ouzo.

During the days of Ottoman Empire, ouzo was quite widespread in several regions of the country that today we call Turkey, as well as in other regions of the Middle East.

Modern ouzo distillation largely took off in the 19th century following Greek independence. The island of Lesvos, in the north-east Aegean, was and still is a major producer and lays claim to the invention of the drink. The island of Chios, located in the same general area, is another major producer.

When absinthe fell into disfavour in the early 20th century due to its hallucinatory properties, ouzo gained in popularity. As a matter of fact, it was once called "a substitute for absinthe without the wormwood".

Since 1989, the European Union recognizes ouzo as a product with a protected designation of origin, thus prohibiting makers outside Greece and Cyprus from using the name.

Summer in Greece with Ouzo Plomari - Travel in Greece Goes Hand-in-Hand with a Glass of Ouzo

Ouzo Plomari (by Isidoros Arvanitis) is one of the most popular ouzo brands in Greece -- one of my favourites too.

This short commercial takes us from the car-filled streets of a busy capital, carries us through picturesque greek villages, golden fields and rural whitewashed churches overlooking the waves, until it gently lays us down across a little table for two, sipping ouzo at the edge of a golden Aegean beach.

Not a bad little fantasy, is it? (sigh)

Why Ouzo Turns White

Mixing Ouzo with Water and / or Ice

When water or ice is added to ouzo, which is clear in color, it turns milky white; this is because anethole, the essential oil of anise, is soluble in alcohol but not in water. Diluting the spirit causes it to separate creating an emulsion, whose fine droplets scatter the light.

Some people maintain that ice gives ouzo an ideal agreeable temperature for consumption. According to connoisseurs though, ouzo must be diluted with water only; thus, the taste remains unadulterated and the potable "cools" smoothly and equably, while gradually unlocking its aromas in their full intensity.

One more detail: some say it is best to first add water and then the ice in order to avoid the formation of crystals. (I only add ice, and I haven't made the experiment yet.)

Kiss Me I Taste Like Ouzo

A Titillating Top to Remind You of Great Holidays (or to Tease You into Going on One)

I just loved it the minute I laid eyes on it!

Kiss Me I Taste Like Ouzo - Buy Top

Available by zazzle.com in many colours, sizes, and styles. (White and yellow for me, thank you.)

A T-shirt would wear well on both male and female ouzo lovers, and a long-sleeve would be great on an occasional breezy night. (See Page)

Most of all, it will remind you of carefree afternoons under the bright blue sky of Greece or of endless ouzo-sopping parties at islands bars.

Either way most enjoyable, I hope.

copper alembic for ouzo production
copper alembic for ouzo production

Traditional Ouzo Production Process

From the Sun-Drenched Fields to Your Glass

When the plant of anise reaches full maturation, it is harvested, tied in small sheaves and left to dry in shadow, so as to maintain its green colour. The next phase is the "drimónisma," in which the seed is manually and with utmost care separated from the stalks.

Before distillation, the seeds are drenched in sacks made of plant fibres for a day in order to soften and render their full aroma during the process; they are then mixed with pure alcohol (96% vol) from pressed grapes or molasses and placed in special copper cauldrons (alembics).

Besides anise seeds, other combinations of herbs and spices may be used, i.e. various blends of fennel, nutmeg, cinnamon, mint, hazelnut, and/or mastic, sometimes even orange, tangerine, bitter orange, or citrus peels, creating varieties and brands with distinct and unique tastes and aromas for the pleasure of ouzo lovers.

The mixture will be distilled three times. The "head," that is the first fraction of the distilled product, along with the "tail," the end fraction, are put aside. Only the "heart," which is the central and best fraction, is put through the second and third phases of the distillation process. All the while, special attention is paid so as not to allow any sudden rises or drops in temperature. The central fraction of the last phase of distillation is called "adóloto," and it is the heart of the heart of the ouzo making process, used in the production of premium, gourmet ouzos.

The "heart" is stored for a couple of days in large stainless-steel tanks to settle, so that the ingredients may "bond" and homogeneity of the mixture be achieved. The product of this process is a 100% ouzo extract and may be consumed only after having been mixed with clear water to reach 38º-48º vol (Gay-Lussac scale). The final product is then bottled or barrel-aged to attain a more mature, smooth flavour.

Today the law allows ouzo to be sold with a minimum of 20% pure ouzo extract content. The remaining <80% may consist of alcohol, water and essences, with anethole, the essential oil of anise, being the predominant one. In some cases sugar is also added. In any case, the product is labeled accordingly. The purest and best of all must read "100% distilled ouzo."

Treasure from the Greek Seas - Ouzo Plomari Meets The Unrivalled Blue of the Greek Islands Sea

Just watch at 0:10 !!!

The boat seems like floating on air.

At the end of the video, you may also see how a plate of olives and just one tasty, ripe, red tomato can be pretense enough to "grab a bite" and take the cork off an ouzo bottle.

Ouzo Cocktail Recipes

Greeks avoid drinking ouzo as a shot or mixed in cocktails, and they have their reasons for doing so.

However, drinkers all over the world have acquired their own preferences, and bartenders (hopefully) are very inventive in their mixture recipes.

After all, as we say in Greece, everyone's entitled to his own taste ("peri orexeos, kolokythopita")

Here's a selection of cocktails, some of which even a naïve Balkan secluded in her mountainous corner of Europe (that's me, drama queen!) would consider having a taste of.

greeks drinking ouzo
greeks drinking ouzo

Drinking Ouzo the Greek Way

How to Drink Ouzo Safely and Savoury

Ouzo is traditionally served in small glasses or, most usually in the islands, in medium slim ones, which do not allow its characteristic aroma escape very quickly. The serving is always accompanied by cold water and ice to be mixed in the potion which thus acquires its cloudy white colour.

In American bars, ouzo is usually served in shot glasses and drunk all at once, but this is neither the most pleasant nor the most interesting way to drink it. Likewise, Greeks never mix ouzo with soft drinks or colas, as they tend to destroy its liquorice-like taste.

Ouzo is often considered a rather strong drink, although its alcohol content is not especially high compared to other liquor. The reason mainly lies in its sugar content, which delays ethanol absorption in the stomach. The drinker may be misled into thinking that they can drink more, as they do not feel tipsy early on. Then the cumulative inebriating effect of ethanol appears rather quickly and the drinker's head starts spinning uncontrollably.

Chech out the adventures of a reckless ouzo drinker:

The Ten Stages of Greek Ouzo Oblivion - The Road to Certain Death

Brilliant, after surviving his downfall!

Anyway, back to academics:

Through ages of drinking ouzo, Greeks have developed the art of consuming the potable without getting drunk. It is generally considered poor form to drink "xerosfýri" (literally "dry hammer"), an idiomatic expression that means "drinking alcohol without eating anything." The presence of food, especially fats or oils, in the upper digestive system prolongs the absorption of ethanol and ameliorates alcohol intoxication.

Ouzo is usually consumed as a relaxing afternoon interlude or as a pre-prandial aperitif. One may see people sitting in their neighbourhood tavernas sipping ouzo along with a snack of nuts or olives, engaged in small-talk, as ouzo time is, first and above all, a time for socializing. There are also specialty tavernas, the ouzeries, where the potable is consumed along with appetizer selections known as mezè.

Ouzo Shot Glasses - The Stylish, The Fastidious and The Funny

If, after all, you absolutely insist in drinking ouzo in shot glasses, here are some ideas for you:

.

ouzo meze
ouzo meze

The Mezè - Appetizers for Ouzo

Savouring away a sunny afternoon

The mezè is never a main meal. It is not consumed in order to satiate, but to mitigate the ethanol effects and to stimulate the taste.

There's no need to have a multitude of plates laid on the table. The mezédes must be small in size and replenished every once in a while, to be easily discerned on the plate and to be more easily offered. A few bites out of every plate should suffice.

The flavours may vary. Sour, salty, sweet, or bitter, they all match, setting off the specific flavour of ouzo.

A usual selection of mezè includes local vegetables (such as tomatoes, cucumbers, fried zucchini, grilled sweet red peppers called Florínis, etc) , fried balls (meatballs, vegetable balls), grilled octopus or squid, fried kalamari, raw or fried cheese, salted or pickled little fish like anchovy and sardines, as well as many others which the imagination of ouzo drinkers has created over the years.

meze appetizers for ouzo
meze appetizers for ouzo

Appetizers for Ouzo: Recipes

Tasty and easy meze recipes

This is not a page about cooking - but,as a Greek native and denizen, I cannot imagine drinking ouzo without a little something to accompany it. So, here are a few dishes that will fill your table with very little effort.

1. Walnut Skordalia

Skordalia is the Greek word for garlic paste. There are many ways to make skordalia, be it with mashed potatoes, bread, or a combination of bread and walnuts, which is the tastier of all.

Peter G is an Australian chef and photographer of Greek descent, owner and author of a delicious blog named Souvlaki for the Soul, in which he shares many fantastic recipes - Greek and non-Greek - and photos of foods and places.

Without further ado, enjoy the sharp taste of walnut skordalia to dip in while sipping your ouzo.

2. Cheese Saganaki

Ivy is a Greek-Cypriot blogger with vast experience in the kitchen. Her blog, Kopiaste...to Greek Hospitality is a sight for sore eyes and for empty stomachs :-))

Cheese saganaki is one "must" among ouzo appetizers, and Ivy gives us many information and some delicious recipes for making it. Be sure to try out the Cypriot cheese haloumi, which is a unique delicacy with a mild, somewhat creamy, slightly salted taste. Original haloumi is made of a blend of sheep and goat milk (not cow's milk), so be sure to check the label before buying.

3. Bekri Meze

"Bekris" is the drunkard. So, bekri meze is supposed to be the appetizer for a person who drinks: hot enough to make him thirsty, juicy and meaty enough to fill his stomach, fatty (pork) to provide the necessary fat that will delay alcohol absorption. Drinkers have their tricks, don't they?

Check out this recipe for bekri meze and you'll get what I mean.

Cooking With Ouzo Recipes #1 - Classic Summer Food - Greek Shrimp and Feta with Chef Nic

That's how we do it. Honestly! Just not in that kind of oven.

The syrtaki music is an unfortunate cliché, but then it's not my video to tamper with.

I hope to treat you with some great greek music in the near future.

Oh, one more thing: Lighting up the cooking pan, though quite spectacular, is not "the traditional way" of cooking on our islands or mountains. Sorry, chef Nic!

Food sure tastes deliciously, though.

Greek Cuisine - Appetizers and Meals to Accompany a Glass of Ouzo - Cooking for the Symposium

It's no hard task preparing a little something to pick at during an ouzo session.

Some fried graviera cheese, a tomato and cucumber, a slice of bread, some olives, a few spoonfuls of tzatziki, and the table is set.

It doesn't have to be so frugal, though. And you don't have to make moussaka to impress your friends and family -- there are plenty of savoury and simple dishes to provide for a multitude of occasions.

Greek With Gusto!: Greek Cuisine - Easy and Delicious
Greek With Gusto!: Greek Cuisine - Easy and Delicious

Loving reviews by its users.

Classic recipes from the Greek kitchen, "adapted to healthier, lower fat and salt levels to give you simple, fresh, flavorful food"

 
The Food and Wine of Greece: More Than 300 Classic and Modern Dishes from the Mainland and Islands
The Food and Wine of Greece: More Than 300 Classic and Modern Dishes from the Mainland and Islands

Structured book, with interesting details about the foods and food-related traditions of the country.

The author is indeed knowledgeable about her subject.

 
Cat Cora's Kitchen: Favorite Meals for Family and Friends
Cat Cora's Kitchen: Favorite Meals for Family and Friends

From an awarded chef of Greek origin, Iron Chef of America 2005, president and founder of Chefs for Humanity, who recently launched the restaurants CCQ at Macy's in Costa Mesa, California, and Kouzzina at Walt Disney World.

Oh! and a mother of four - cheers to you, CC!

 
ouzo crispy breadsticks, greek cooking
ouzo crispy breadsticks, greek cooking

Cooking With Ouzo Recipes #2

We make ouzo. We drink ouzo. We eat ouzo.

There are plenty of english-speaking cooking blogs paying homage to the traditional Greek spirit.

Here's one version of another popular recipe using ouzo:

# Meatballs with Ouzo

And a few more preparations in which the aromatic quality of ouzo offers a particular touch:

1. Ouzo Crispy Breadsticks

Ingredients

250 grams (8.5 oz) whole grain flour

625 grams (21.1 oz) all-purpose flour

1+1/2 teaspoon salt

1+1/2 teaspoon sugar

440 grams (14.9 oz) olive oil

330 grams (11.1 oz) ouzo

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ammonium bicarbonate

sesame or black sesame seeds

Preparation

Put the flour, salt, sugar, and oil into a bowl.

Dilute the baking soda and ammonium bicarbonate into ouzo and add to the bowl.

Knead hard and long. If the dough is not firm enough, add some flour.

Let the dough "rest" for 30'.

Roll the dough to a rectangular layer, thick as your index finger, and cut into 0.6 inch stripes approx. Or, you may take small pieces of dough and shape them into strings of the same size.

Roll into sesame or black sesame seeds.

Bake in pre-heated oven (392 Fahrenheit) for 30'.

The following page is from a great greek cooking blog.

Don't let the strange script stop you!

You want to see the very nice photos of the breadsticks making process (those are with plain aniseed, not ouzo, but the steps are essentially the same)

and get a picture of what to expect when baking them.

Recipe Society / Syntages Tis Pareas - Crispy Breadsticks

2. Tagliatelle with Prawns and Ouzo

Ingredients

500 grams (16.9 oz) tagliatelle

1 kilo (2.2 lbs) prawns

3 medium onions, grated

1 kilo (2.2 lbs) tomatoes, cut in thick cubes

1 cup tomato juice

1 small wine-glass of dry white wine

1 small wine-glass of olive oil

500 grams (16.9 oz) feta cheese, cut in thick cubes

1-2 red hot chilli peppers (whole)

1/2 teaspoon sugar

salt, freshly-ground pepper

1 small wine-glass of ouzo

Preparation

Boil water in a pot. Put in the prawns and leave for about 6'. Strain, let cool a little, and clean the prawns.

In a second pan, stir fry onions for 2' minutes, then add the tomatoes, tomato juice, wine, chili peppers, sugar, and salt. When the sauce starts to thicken, add the ouzo, then the prawns, and let simmer for 3'.

Prepare the tagliatelle. While they are still hot, stir in the feta cubes. Then reverse into the sauce pot and let simmer for 1', carefully swinging the pot to make ingredients blend together.

Grind some pepper on top and serve immediately.

4. Greek Deviled Eggs With Ouzo

I just discovered this recipe. Although I've never heard of it before and, frankly, it doesn't seem to be a traditional one, ingredients like parsley, black olives, ouzo, and mint are 100% greek natives and used in greek kitchen. As usual, don't overdo it with the ouzo - you want the liquor to add a delicate taste to the meze, without covering all the aromas.

Greek deviled eggs with ouzo

Healthy Ouzo and Mezédes Consumption - Taking Care of Your Shape

Don't be afraid of mezédes!

One can absolutely indulge in a few tasty plates of mezè appetizers without suffering from remorses or nightmares of calories hunting him/her down the cobbled Greek island roads.

And remember, eating is a requisite for safe ouzo consumption. Just keep in mind the following general rules.

  • Prefer salads and grilled dishes.
  • Prefer fish and seafood; they contain omega-3 fats beneficial for the heart, skin, and vision.
  • Consume fried mezédes with moderation, because in restaurants foods are typically not fried in olive oil and that encumbers them with "bad" trans fats causing damage to the cardiovascular system.
  • Do not consume large quantities of mezédes with high content of cholesterol and of saturated animal fats, such as cheese, sausage, or pork ham. (Plus, they most probably will add extra inches to your waist!)
  • For those paying special attention to their weight: A glass of ouzo contains 120-150 calories, depending on alcoholic content.

Drink To Your Health

Positive Health Effects of Ouzo Drinking

Even though there are no scientific studies on the action of white distillates, experts estimate that ouzo and tsipouro may benefit health, provided they are consumed in minor quantities (1-2 servings a day at most).

The essential oil of aniseed (anethole) contained in the potable whets the appetite. Aniseed, the plant that gives ouzo its strong characteristic aroma, is considered to improve iron absorption from foods. It also assuages intestine contractions, while acting as a mild antiparasitic in the area. Furthermore, ouzo dilates blood vessels, thus decreasing arterial pressure.

Ouzo has long been used as a multi-purpose home-made remedy.

Take the word of "an exiled Englishman, living in the beautiful Greek mountains, close to the ruins of Ancient Sparta" for how he used or he saw people using the alcohol.

Greek Ouzo - The Medicine

So, what if you drink martini, or scotch, or that-central-african-stuff, or black tea, or whatever.

Ouzo Plomari stands for drinking responsibly and so do we.

I'd just like to know if you're happy with the toast; that is, if you found what you came for on this page, or if the information has offered an insight.

You may also propose your desired additions to the lens, e.g. something more that you'd like to know about ouzo, a poll of potential interest, a new angle on the subject, etc.

Thank you for staying with us!

Ouzo Souvenirs Guestbook - To Your Health

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    • profile image

      Brian Rocha 2 years ago

      I Got 1969 0mega ouzo and 1970 4/5 quart 1969

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 4 years ago

      @othellos: So true! Cheers to you, pal!

    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      The best lens I saw until now about ouzo! Very informative and nicely presented. One remark though. In order to enjoy ouzo at its best you need the... scenery. Mediterranean sun, beaches, small taverns, good company... Cheers:=)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wonderful Lens ! Best Wishes :)

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      I didn't know ouzo could be used in cooking recipes. It make sense it would be good as it has such a strong flavor.

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      I'd always wondered why Ouzo turned white when you add water, now I know. I agree with castelloautore, Ouzo tastes much better in Greece than it does at home, it must be he sun, the food, the beautiful scenery and the relaxed people.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 4 years ago

      @castelloautore: I don't know about the quality of exported ouzo, sorry.

      The effect of ouzo under the hot Mediterranean sun... well, it must be felt stronger, for sure!

    • castelloautore profile image

      castelloautore 4 years ago

      I am curious if the effect of Ouzo is felt stronger is consumed in the Greeks countries.

      I love the Ouzo in Greece, but i didn't appreciate too much back in the Netherlands or in Belgium.

      The use of Ouzo with food is interesting. I would try, specially with scampi looks tempting.

      Carlo

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      I tried Ouzo for the first time during a visit to Greece and was so excited to discover a bottle in my parent's bar when I got back home. Yes, definitely better with friends and good food!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love Ouzo, some interesting things to try here, thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      This is powerful stuff!

    • myoyster1957 profile image

      myoyster1957 4 years ago

      I am rather partial to a glass of ouzo, nice lens.

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      I've never had ouzo but I love Marie Brizard, Pastis and Sambuca. So refreshing on a summer's day.

    • dave-sutton profile image

      dave-sutton 5 years ago

      As a regular visitor to Cyprus and also having good Greek friends there I have developed a taste for this wonderful drink. Plomari is the best in my opinion but I'm quite happy with any brand.

      In a taverna I will ask for a small bottle with ice and water supplied separately.

      In the UK I have to travel miles to get this drink, its expensive and it somehow never tastes the same without Greek company, sun and the Med in the background. I just love this lens.

    • dave-sutton profile image

      dave-sutton 5 years ago

      As a regular visitor to Cyprus and having very good Greek Cypriot friends who tell me that their national sport is eating drinking and talking I have been lucky enough to be selected to train for this event.

      I must be one of the few Englishmen that actually loves ouzo. I prefer it with just ice and a glass of water on the side .

      When I first arrive in Cyprus my friend Petros has this tradition that we sit down with a bottle of Plomari, ice, Hallomi and cucumber, have a good chat and slowly get sozzled.

      Roll on my next visit.

    • ElBat profile image

      Eleni Bat 5 years ago from Greece

      That was a perfect lens!Really good work you did there!Regards from an other Eleni!

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 5 years ago

      @LouisaDembul: You are eclectic! ;-)

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      I'm not so much into strong alcohol, but I like a little ouzo in my coffee!

    • profile image

      ikoniatis 5 years ago

      Stin ygeia sou!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is my first serving of Greek ouzo and meze' and I found them absolutely delightful and loved your presentation from history to preparation of your recipes as well as your special counsel along the way as to how to enjoy consumption responsibly.

    • profile image

      crstnblue 5 years ago

      Great lens! Informative and thoughtful content.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 5 years ago

      @casquid: Thank you so much, dear, for the invitation. :)

    • EileenSmith LM profile image

      EileenSmith LM 5 years ago

      A very thorough lens! I've always wanted to try ouzo (I am a quarter Greek, after all), but I've yet to have the opportunity. Very informative!

    • casquid profile image

      casquid 5 years ago

      How Very Fascinating! You can come to our house and spend a week. We will have ouzo ready for you to cook anything you like!

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 5 years ago

      @pheonix76: Just be careful and definitely have something to eat along!

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 5 years ago from WNY

      Really interesting lens! I love Greek culture. :) I have never tried ouzo but would certainly like to.

    • whoisbid lm profile image

      whoisbid lm 5 years ago

      I want to visit Greece one day and have some Greek drinks :)

    • profile image

      friendshipquotes 5 years ago

      good work done!

    • dubsport01 profile image

      dubsport01 5 years ago

      you know you've had ouzo when you things your insides are melting! great lens

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 5 years ago from Michigan

      Anise oil is also one of the ingredients in Absinthe...which also turns cloudy (a cloudy green) with the addition of water. Perhaps the reason why both Ouzo and Absinthe do that is that common ingredient.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      This is the first time I have ever heard of ouzo. It seems like a something worth trying.

      Blessed bya Squid Angel.

    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 6 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      Ouzo has a strong flavor which gives it its distinct personality. When you get accustomed with the flavor you tend to drink too much.

    • profile image

      fajack 6 years ago

      great lens helenee :)

      keep up the good work

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @WeirdStuff: Hmmm... Is it because you like weird stuff? ;)

    • profile image

      Nicole_Anderson 6 years ago

      When I was recently in Parga Greece on Vacation I had a bad experience with Ouzo, so be careful and the best way to drink it is either neat or with water, not with ANYTHING fizzy as it has a slow chemical reaction in the stomach, so by the time you have had your fifth Ouzo and lemonade you can kiss goodbye to a peaceful night and a days recovery...

      Regards,

      Nicole

      I recently created my own Greek Holiday lens that might interest you!

    • profile image

      WeirdStuff 6 years ago

      Ouzo 12 is the best!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      I have not tried ouzo yet, because I have not been in Greece yet. But both is on my to-do list! And I will refresh my knowledge before departure by visiting your lens again ...

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 6 years ago

      Nice lens. I haven't tried ouzo in cooking yet, I will have to give some of the recipes a go!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      I've never even heard of Ouzo - very interesting! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      I found this very interesting and quite educational.

    • viscri8 profile image

      viscri8 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens about a beautiful topic. I love Uzo anyway, since I first listened to Greek music. Hopa!

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 6 years ago

      Geia sou! The Tagliatelle with Prawns and Ouzo sound delicious. Very interesting and helpful information about Ouzo. You're right, it is important to be careful when drinking it but if you do it with moderation and with good appetizers it is delicious :)

    • deified profile image

      deified 6 years ago

      oh my goodness, the food is too gorgeous to eat! i can almost smell it the way you describe it, and i don't think anyone could have done a better job representing it visually. is anise what gives ouzo its licorice flavor? im really no stranger to spirits;) but have somehow managed NOT to try this drink. ive had some absinthe on a coupla occasions prepared in a 'bohemian' tradition (that's what i was told when asked), that is diluted, sweetened with sugar cubes, and set aflame. pretty exciting. it tastes like licorice too. but i don't know why. now im curious..! i really liked your lens:) write some more please!

    • SweetMarie83 LM profile image

      SweetMarie83 LM 6 years ago

      Great, interesting lens! I've always wanted to try ouzo but haven't had the chance yet. After reading this, I want to try it even more!

    • BubblesRFun profile image

      BubblesRFun 6 years ago

      Can't wait to try the Ouzo Crispy Breadsticks recipe! great lens -- Thanks :)

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @Kritikos: Well, your remark summarizes nicely the content this lens! xDD

      For more precautions, be sure to carefully read the whole page.

    • profile image

      Kritikos 6 years ago

      Ouzo tastes great in the summer in Greece but you can get drunk easily with a few glasses. Drink slowly and never on an empty stomach.

    • YsisHb profile image

      YsisHb 6 years ago

      Gia sou Eleni. Thanks for your comments on my lenses. I didn't know that there is a goddess of music and language at the same time (the indian goddess Sarasvati). It really thrills me!

      It's great to meet another Greek on Squidoo and a very sharp-minded one.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens! I always wanted to visit Greece someday. It is fun to to read about the traditions and culture there.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @Jhangora LM: I don't know about India. What I do know is that a 750ml bottle costs $10-13 online (both in Greece and the USA). Be careful, though: as I already warned Othercat, all ouzos are not equal in quality and taste. Check the comments below - if you haven't already - to understand what I mean. I guess I must add a new module with product reviews for the clueless. :-D :-D :-D

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 6 years ago

      I'll try to find it in India. I am sure will be pretty expensive here.

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 6 years ago from Corona, CA

      Interesting drink. I always like anise.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @Pete Schultz: I'm SO happy that my Greek Ouzo lens made you feel that way. Seriously, now - almost brought tears to my eyes! Oh, I know, it's just we, new Lensmasters! :-D

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 6 years ago

      This was a great lens to visit. I am now hungry and thirsty. I first had ouzo at a favorite Greek restaurant in Duluth, Minnesota, where the Gyros, Avgolemno and retsina also represented clear sharp flavors that scream "Greece" I enjoyed my little trip to paradise this afternoon. Thanks.

    • Othercatt profile image

      Othercatt 6 years ago

      @NoYouAreNot: Thanks! This will help me cross one thing off my bucket list!

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @nightbear lm: Thanks, Susan. I like your lenses too.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @NoYouAreNot: Oh, and I think I can "see" the horrified look of locals when you put coca-cola in your ouzo glass. I tell you, it gives me the gooseflesh! :-D

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @Spook LM: Thank you so much. I like your lens on "reverse" racism, and I intend to read more of you, as soon as I get some time :-)

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @Othercatt: Go to http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/ouzo/1/usa. I don't know about off-line stores, but if you're interested, I can ask a couple of Greek friends living in the States. DO NOT - I repeat: DO NOT - go for Ouzo 12. Very poor taste. My favourite ones are Plomari and Mitilinis; I haven't tried Metaxa ouzo, though.

    • Othercatt profile image

      Othercatt 6 years ago

      I've always wanted to try Ouzo. But I think I would leave the octopus and kalamari on the table! I had no idea you could cook with it.

      Is Ouzo available in the states? I use to be a bartender but I never once saw a bottle of Ouzo.

      Great lens, by the way!

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 6 years ago

      This was an amazingly good lens, I would never believe it was your very first one. Great job.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hey, I learned something new today from this well-crafted lens....well done and welcome to Squidoo and may I say, cheers! :)

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 6 years ago

      Welcome to Squidoo and may you be happy here. I travelled to Greece many times in my youth many years ago and loved it there. I had Ouzo many times but the locals were affronted with me as I used coca-cola in it. Many happy memories of a wonderful people. Excellent first lens, congratulations.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @Glenn619: Just be careful if you ever want to drink it! :-D

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @isabella lm: I like so much seeing my lens up there, among all those great lenses about Greece!

    • Glenn619 profile image

      Glenn619 6 years ago

      For your first lens you ave done well. good work and hey thanks to you now i know what Ouzo is

    • isabella lm profile image

      isabella lm 6 years ago

      An amazing first lens. Great job. I have added the lens to the Greece Headquarters. Looking forward to your next masterpiece!

    • GoodinDevelopme profile image

      GoodinDevelopme 6 years ago

      Mmmm delicious ouza. Enjoyed your lens.

    • Jack2205 profile image

      Jack 6 years ago

      Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @Paul Ward: γεια ÏοÏ. εÏÏαÏιÏÏÏ ÏολÏ. thanks a lot.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @hayleylou lm: Well, this happened to me with vodka :-D

      I appreciate your blessings and I most certainly will drop by your lenses.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @tobejim: I have drunk sambuca in shots a few times. Really strong too!

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @mockingbird999: It is!! Thank you.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image
      Author

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      @I-sparkle: Thank you. Great to find you here - I already feel welcome :-)

    • I-sparkle profile image

      I-sparkle 6 years ago

      Excellent lens. I wouldn't change a thing. Welcome to Squidoo.

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 6 years ago

      Your breadstick recipe sounds really good.

    • tobejim profile image

      tobejim 6 years ago

      Really interesting lens - a lot more to ouzo than I thought! Still prefer smabuca though...

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      I once got a bit tipsy, ok a lot, on Ouzo and now I can't even stand the smell ! **Blessed** and featured on My Time as a Squid Angel :)

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

      γειά ÏÎ±Ï super lens