The Chian ouzo was produced in early times and played a primary role in the Chians’ social lives. Originally, it was considered an alcoholic beverage for men, however, throughout the course of time, it was served during special occasions, such as welcoming guest, bidding farewell as well as an aperitif prior to serving dinner. Seafood traditionally accompanies ouzo, thus, creating a strong and delightful combination. Alcohol: 40.0% (80 proof)
Related ingredients: Anisette
The island of Chios, known as the cradle of spices and aromas, produces a variety of soft and smooth ouzo, which depends on the recipe used. The traditional ingredients include glykanissos (aniseed) combined with maratho (fennel), koliandro (cilantro) and the unique mastic.
Clearly disassociated from the local tsipouro (raki) and from souma (suma), which is mainly produced by figs. Chian ouzo is still distilled primarily in the small copper stills (kazania) of traditional family manufacturers.
The classic Greek drink Ouzo begins as alcohol made from grape skins or other local produce. It is then brought together with herbs and other ingredients, including star anise, coriander, cloves, angelica root and even cinnamon and lime blossom. The mixture is boiled in a copper still and regulated by a taster. The resulting liquid is cooled and stored for several months before it is diluted to about 80 proof or 40 percent alcohol. However, homemade ouzo can be a deliriously strong 80 percent alcohol.
Ouzo is usually served as an aperitif, but is also used in some mixed drinks and cocktails.
When mixing Ouzo with water, it turns whitish and opaque. The reason is that the anise oil dissolves and becomes invisible when mixed with a conventional alcohol content, but as soon as the alcohol content is reduced, the essential oils transform into white crystals, which you cannot see through.
Combined with ktapodaki (octopus), atherina (whitebait), throumba elia (a special kind of olive), toursia (pickles), tyri (cheese) and a great number of other mezedes, Chian Ouzo can guarantee you magical nights by the crystal sea of the island, along the shores of Ionia.
In Greece, an ordinary bottle of ouzo sells for around 1.600 GRD, (?4.70) in the supermarket. Even less expensive ouzo can be found in shops where it is sold from the barrel. In taverns and restaurants, it is served in bottles of 0.2 lt. known as “karafakia” and cost approximately 3 ?.
Ouzo is protected by the European Union as an exclusive Greek product. As a traditional drink, it is subject to half the tax imposed on most other EU spirits.