I guess you can say that ouzo is the national drink of Greece. This strong and fragrant aperitif embodies everything that is Greece: the spirit, the care-free attitude, the zest for life. And to understand just how important ouzo is to many Greeks, just take a closer look at the painting above (actually hanging in a taverna on the Greek island of Lesvos) where a bottle of Ouzo Mini is providing sustenance to a man via an I.V.!
The History of Ouzo
The mass production of ouzo began in Greece around the mid 1850s and flourished near the end of the 19th century, especially in the Plomari settlement of the island of Lesvos. In 1932, ouzo producers began using copper stills for distillation, a process now considered the proper method of ouzo production.
Ouzo Tirnavou was created in 1856 by Nikos Katsarou, and according to the company, is the first Ouzo ever created. It's said that in 1850 the Katsarou family came into possession of a still (quite common in Tirnavos at the time) as part of their dowry and started experimenting with the distillation process of Tsipouro. By adding a variety of aromatics, however, the family sucessfully produced a brand new product: Ouzo. The Tirnavou brand of ouzo has an alcohol content of 40% Alc. by Vol.
Ouzo No. 7 (Chios)
Ouzo Cocktails ... Stin Ygeia Mas!
Eight Iron (Ouzo, Banana Liqueur and Blue Curacao over ice)
Be sure to come back tomorrow when recipes for all those yummy mezedes served with all this ouzo will finally be posted!