Bar Scene by Haris Koulas

by Island Vibes

We all know ouzo. It is deeply authentic, deeply traditional, deeply Greek. We’ve all more or less honored it with our company. Ouzo predisposes you to a scenery with sea, friends and sun. However, in addition to its retro mood it has managed in recent years to intersperse its traditional role. Along with the rest of the Greek spirits, they have managed to form one of the new proposals of the “Bar Scene”. The Greek bartenders have now re-evaluated and redefined the Greek product in recent years and have realized that Greek alcoholic beverages are not only not lagging behind, but can take the cocktails compositions one step further.

Although the cocktail for most professionals and not, has been intertwined with spirits such as rum etc, now ouzo, tsipouro, mastic, Naxos citrus, tentoura and Metaxa cognac, have entered dynamically in the game of composition working not only supportive, but sometimes forming the very basis. This proposal seems to have a positive response from the Greek public and beyond. Feedback from tourists is equally positive. This was particularly evident from Aegean cocktails and spirits workshops that took place in Tinos during the “Tinos Food Paths”, through which the Greek spirits and their possibilities were shown.

In particular, ouzo can form the basis of a combination, as long as it is used with caution, due to the strong intensity of it. It can suit for example very elegantly with vodka because of its neutrality, but also with gin as its botanically subtly enhances its aromas. Other materials that highlight its character are lavender, citrus liqueur and parsley.

As in ouzo, in tsipouro the choice of materials is left to the choice of the brand. I find it interesting to combine the tsipouro without anise, with rose, strawberries and Sichuan pepper. The citrus of Naxos varies in alcoholic grades and added sugar, so here the possibilities are many. My experimentation with the yellow version of liqueur led me to the following recipe:


30ml Kitro Naxos Valindra
30 ml Aperol
20 ml lemon
15 ml thyme syrup
30 ml Top up soda


Add ice to a wine glass, then add all the ingredients with the soda last. Garnish with fresh thyme.
Cocktail preparation enables us to experiment with a variety of materials. The entry of Greek spirits adds more sources of experimentation to this creative process.

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