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Cerberus RTD

The Wonderful History of Ouzo Alcohol

Ouzo, Greece’s national drink, is a strong anise-flavoured spirit. It’s a drink that’s culturally significant to Greece but is also known outside the Mediterranean. The tangy liquorice flavour of ouzo alcohol is a flavour that’s sought after by locals and foreign tourists.

What Is Ouzo?

Ouzo is a traditional Greek alcoholic beverage that is widely known and consumed in Greece and other Mediterranean countries. It is an anise flavoured spirit, which means it has a distinct liquorice or anise taste. Ouzo is typically clear, but when water or ice is added to it, it turns milky white due to the anise oils becoming soluble in the alcohol.

The most fascinating thing about ouzo is that it should never be drunk raw or as it is. It should be mixed with either water or some additional flavour. In Greek culture, ouzo is often drunk before eating your meal. When you go to any Greek restaurant, they often serve milky white ouzo before the main course. This is to “open your appetite” since the taste of the anise prepares your tastebuds to savour your meal. Ouzo is often diluted with water, which gives it a milky white texture.

The process of making ouzo involves distillation and flavouring with various herbs and spices, with anise being the dominant flavour. The alcohol content of ouzo is usually around 37.5-50% by volume. It is commonly enjoyed as an aperitif and is often served with appetizers or mezes, such as olives, cheese, and seafood.

ouzo alcohol

It All Started With…

It’s not certain where the process of distilling grape must or by-products of winemaking began, but what is certain is that the distillation of the earliest known variant of ouzo has been done by the monks of Mount Athos. Even before the 15th century, the process of distilling pomace has been a common practice. This is most likely where distilling anise-flavoured ouzo alcohol began.

Although the exact origin of ouzo is a matter of debate, it is widely accepted that the drink evolved from the Middle Eastern tradition of anise flavoured spirits. Ouzo, as it is known today, has its roots in the 19th century and is closely associated with the island of Lesbos, although it is now produced throughout Greece.

The word “ouzo” itself is believed to have Turkish origins, stemming from the Turkish word “uzoğlu,” which means “to evaporate.” This likely refers to the unique clouding effect that occurs when water is added to ouzo, turning it from clear to milky white.

The Process of Ouzo ALCOHOL Making Throughout the Years

During the 19th century, ouzo production became more standardised, and the Greek alcohol gained popularity both domestically and internationally. The island of Lesbos, particularly the town of Plomari, emerged as a significant centre for ouzo production. Distilleries in this region played a crucial role in shaping the character of the drink.

Ouzo production faced challenges during periods of political turmoil, such as the two World Wars and the Greek Civil War. However, it persisted and continued to be an integral part of Greek social life.

In 2006, the European Union granted ouzo a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, recognising it as a product with unique ties to its geographical origin and specific production methods. This status ensures that only ouzo produced in Greece and following specific
regulations can be labelled as such.

Today, ouzo alcohol is enjoyed both domestically and internationally, with various brands and styles available. It remains an essential element of Greek hospitality and is often associated with convivial gatherings, mezes, and the vibrant culture of Greece. The distinct anise flavour and the ritual of louching make ouzo a unique and cherished spirit in the world of alcoholic beverages.


Take a Refreshing Sip of Flavoured Ouzo ALCOHOL from Cerberus RTD!

A lot of international companies has their own blend of ouzo, including Cerberus. With an original family recipe of alcohol mixes, Cerberus brings a blend of ouzo and your favourite beverages to Australia.

The variety of ouzo blends in our shop gives you the freedom to explore new flavours. You’ll find unique and refreshing blends from lemonade ouzo to a blend of cola and ouzos. Explore the timeless history of Greek alcohol with Cerberus drinks. Take a sip and experience
the class of the Mediterranean. Get in touch with us today!

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