As a country with a rich culinary tradition, Greece is home to many unique and delicious drinks that are worth trying if you’re a fan of beverages. From the anise-flavored liqueur known as ouzo to the refreshing iced coffee drink known as frappé, there are plenty of options to choose from. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at five of the most interesting and tasty Greek drinks that you should try during your next visit to the country.
Ouzo is a clear, anise-flavored liqueur that is popular in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean. It is typically served as an aperitif before a meal, and is often accompanied by small plates of food known as meze. To make ouzo, a base of distilled alcohol is flavored with aniseed and other herbs and spices, which give it its distinctive licorice-like flavor.
To serve ouzo, it is traditionally poured over ice and mixed with a splash of water, which turns it a milky white color. This is known as “louhiko,” and is the most common way to enjoy ouzo in Greece. Alternatively, you can mix it into cocktails or enjoy it on its own as a digestif.
There are several popular brands of ouzo in Greece, including:
- Ouzo Barbayanni
- Ouzo Plomari
- Ouzo Mini
- Ouzo 12
- Ouzo Tsipouro
- Ouzo Pitsiladi
- Ouzo Meletti
- Ouzo Skinos
Retsina is a white wine that is made with resin, giving it a unique and slightly piney flavor. It is one of the oldest known types of wine, and was originally made in ancient Greece as a way of preserving the wine and protecting it from bacteria. Today, it is still made using the same method, and is enjoyed as an accompaniment to Greek food.
The flavor of retsina can be an acquired taste for some, but it is definitely worth trying if you’re curious about the history and culture of Greek wine. It is often served chilled, and pairs well with dishes that have strong flavors, such as grilled meats and seafood.
Frappé is an iced coffee drink that is popular in Greece, particularly during the hot summer months. It is made by blending instant coffee, sugar, and cold water, and is served in a tall glass with ice. The result is a refreshing and invigorating beverage that is perfect for enjoying on a hot day.
To make a frappé, you will need instant coffee, sugar, cold water, and ice. Simply combine the ingredients in a blender or a shaker, and blend or shake until the mixture is frothy and well-combined. Pour the frappé into a tall glass and serve with a straw. You can also add milk or cream if you prefer a richer, creamier drink.
Tsipouro is a strong spirit that is made from grapes, and is popular in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean. It is typically made from the residue of the grapes that are left over from the winemaking process, and is often enjoyed as a digestif after a meal.
Tsipouro is typically served neat, either on its own or with ice. It has a slightly sweet, fruity flavor that is balanced by a strong, alcohol kick. It can also be mixed into cocktails, or enjoyed with a splash of water or a twist of lemon to bring out its flavors.
Tsipouro is a traditional Greek spirit that is similar to ouzo, but made from grape pomace, the solid remains of grapes after they have been pressed for wine. It is typically produced in the regions of northern Greece, such as Thessaly and Macedonia, and is often enjoyed as an aperitif or digestif.
There are many brands of tsipouro produced in Greece, each with its own unique flavor and character. One of the most popular brands is Tsilili, which is produced in the region of Thessaly and is known for its smooth, well-balanced flavor.
Another well-known tsipouro brand is Raki, which is produced on the island of Crete and is made from grape pomace and aniseed. This spirit has a strong, herbal flavor that is both bold and aromatic.
In addition to these larger brands, there are also many smaller, artisanal distilleries throughout Greece that produce their own tsipouro using traditional methods and local ingredients. For example, the Kir-Yianni distillery, located in the region of Macedonia, produces a range of tsipouro using grape pomace from the region’s vineyards.
Overall, tsipouro is a delicious and unique spirit that is well worth trying if you’re visiting Greece. Whether you prefer the smooth and balanced flavor of Tsilili or the bold and herbal taste of Tsipouro Raki, you can find a tsipouro that will suit your tastes. So be sure to give this traditional Greek spirit a try on your next trip to Greece. You’ll be glad you did.
5. Greek beer
Greece has a thriving craft beer scene, with many local breweries producing a range of styles, including lagers, pilsners, and amber ales. These beers are often made with local ingredients, such as honey, herbs, and fruits.
Greece may not be the first country that comes to mind when you think of beer, but the country has a thriving craft beer scene that is worth exploring. In recent years, a number of local breweries have popped up across the country, producing a range of tasty and unique brews that are perfect for enjoying during the hot summer months.
One of the most popular styles of Greek beer is the lager. These beers are light, crisp, and refreshing, with a subtle hop flavor and a clean finish. They are perfect for sipping on a hot day, and are often served ice-cold with a slice of lemon.
Another popular style of Greek beer is the pilsner. These beers are similar to lagers, but have a slightly hoppier flavor and a slightly higher alcohol content. They are often a bit more full-bodied and complex than lagers, and are a great choice for beer lovers who enjoy a more robust brew.
Amber ales are another style of beer that is popular in Greece. These beers are amber in color, and have a slightly sweet, malty flavor that is balanced by a moderate hop bitterness. They are often made with local ingredients, such as honey, herbs, and fruits, which gives them a unique and flavorful character.
One of the most popular local beer brands in Greece is the Athenian Brewery, which was founded in 2010 and has quickly become known for its high-quality beers. The brewery offers a range of beers, including lagers, ales, and stouts, as well as a selection of seasonal and limited-edition brews.
Another well-known brewery in Greece is the 7 Islands Brewery, located on the island of Syros. This brewery was founded in 2014, and it produces a range of beers using locally-grown ingredients, including herbs and fruits. The brewery’s flagship beer is a refreshing pale ale called Syros Pale Ale, which has become a favorite among craft beer enthusiasts in Greece.
In addition to these larger breweries, there are also many smaller, artisanal breweries scattered throughout the country, each producing its own unique and delicious beers. For example, the Nissos Brewery, located on the island of Tinos, uses locally-sourced ingredients, such as honey and thyme, to create a range of flavorful and aromatic beers.
One of the best things about the Greek beer scene is the variety of flavors and styles that are available. Whether you’re a fan of light, refreshing lagers or more complex, full-bodied ales, you’re sure to find something that you enjoy. So next time you’re in Greece, be sure to try one of the many delicious local beers that are available. Cheers!
6. Greek Wine
Wine has been a staple of Greek culture for thousands of years, with the first known production dating back to the Neolithic period. The ancient Greeks believed that wine was a gift from the gods and used it for religious ceremonies, as well as for medicinal and everyday purposes.
Greece is home to over 300 indigenous grape varieties, many of which are still used to produce distinctive and high-quality wines. Some of the most notable Greek grape varieties include Agiorgitiko, Xinomavro, and Moschofilero.
Agiorgitiko, also known as “St. George’s grape,” is a red grape variety primarily grown in the region of Nemea in the Peloponnese. It produces full-bodied wines with flavors of dark fruit, such as blackberries and plums, as well as notes of spice and pepper.
Xinomavro, meaning “sour black,” is a grape variety that is often compared to Nebbiolo and Barolo for its tannic structure and potential for aging. It is grown in the region of Naoussa in northern Greece and produces wines with flavors of red fruit, such as cherries and raspberries, as well as savory herbs and earthiness.
Moschofilero is a white grape variety grown in the region of Mantinia in the Peloponnese. It produces light-bodied wines with floral and citrus aromas, as well as flavors of peaches and apricots.
In addition to these indigenous grape varieties, Greek wine producers also make wines from international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot.
Greek wines have received international recognition for their quality and unique character. The Assyrtiko grape, grown on the island of Santorini, has gained particular attention for its ability to produce wines with high acidity and minerality. The island’s volcanic soil and unique microclimate also contribute to the character of the wines.
Greek wine regions can be broadly divided into three main categories: mainland, island, and Crete. Mainland regions, such as Nemea and Naoussa, have a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Island regions, such as Santorini and Limnos, have a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot, dry summers. The region of Crete has a varied climate with a mixture of characteristics from the mainland and island regions.
Overall, Greek wine is known for its diversity and high-quality, with something to offer for every wine lover. From refreshing white wines to full-bodied reds, the unique grape varieties and terroir of Greece produce a wide range of flavors and styles.