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Ouzo Traditional Aperitif | Lesbos

Updated: Dec 19, 2019

Ouzo is a dry anise-flavoured aperitif with a taste close to pastis and sambuca, traditionally produced in Lesbos.

Photo title: Amvykas, Traditional Ouzo Production Part | Photo by: Jdoukas21, Amvikas, CC BY-SA 4.0

It has its roots in tsipouro (the second most famous Greek anise-flavoured aperitif), said to be the work of some 14th-century monks on Mount Athos. Modern ouzo distillation started in the 19th century after Greek independence. The first ouzo distillery was founded in Tyrnavos in 1856. The largest producers today are located in Lesvos (Barbayanni, Pitsiladi), both in Plomari village. Ouzo is usually mixed with water, becoming cloudy grey white and served with ice cubes in small glasses. It is usually served with small plates of a variety of appetizers called mezes, usually small fish, olives, feta cheese. In 2006, ouzo won the right to be an exclusively Greek product (Protected Designation of Origin), which prohibits European makers other than Greece and Cyprus from using the name. In Plomari village, there is also the ouzo museum.


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