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Ouzo and ouzo drinking

Habich
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Ouzo and ouzo drinking

Hi Guys and Girls! There are many experienced Ouzo-Drinkers out there. Although much of the info is about other subjeckts....LET'S TALK ABOUT OUZO!!!

Mild brands, harder brands, mixing concentration. I want to try ouzo on my holiday in July, but have no idea how to go about it, without having regrets!!

Thanks in advance!!!

Athens
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21. Re: Ouzo and ouzo drinking

Hiya!

Ouzo is one of the things that God created in order to make life more beautiful!

Here's my twopence regarding the subject:

Ouzo doesn't "need" meze. It's supposed to be an aperitif (spelling?), which means that one drinks it before a meal in order to -us we say in Greece- "open their appetite". That's why when you order ouzo in its homeland (Lesvos) you will get it with a tiny cute plate with 2-3 bites of something which is definitely not proper food (an olive, an anchovie and a piece of cheese is the most ancient company to ouzo).

Also, we aren't supposed to add both water and ice but just one of them.

Having said the above, I accompany my ouzo with tens of mezedes (octopus is indeed a must!) and I add both ice and a splash of water.

Other mezedes that are great company to ouzo are: meatballs, courgettes and courgette flowers (cooked in any way you can imagine), any fried small fish, taramosalata (dip made of fish row), any cured fish, cheeses with "full" body (such as ladotyri from Lesvos, mastelo from Chios and melanotyri from Naxos), all kinds of dolmades, oven-baked chickpeas, shrimp, calamari and all the sea shells.

Brands... Ouzo is mainly made in the North. Lesvos is the most popular ouzo producing island, Chios comes second and then we have ouzos from Thassaloniki and Serres.

Personally (ouzo is indeed a very personal matter) I like the ones from Lesvos and Chios.

The brands that I prefer from Lesvos are: Kouroumichalis (from Petra), Yianatsis (from Plomari) and Aphrodite (also from Plomari, by Mr Barbayiannis).

I used to be a fan of Pitsiladi but since they decided to make it very, very expensive I decided to... take my business elsewhere.

Although Teteris is the most popular ouzo from Chios, my suggestion is 7. it's made by the same distillery but I find it more aromatic.

I can't recommend any ouzo that's made elsewhere than Lesvos and Chios but I an tell you which brand to avoid!

By all means, please don't put your lips anywhere near Ouzo Plomariou Isidorou Arvanitou. It's supposed to be from Lesvos but it's distilled in Piraeus and it's the only ouzo that comes with a guaranteed hangover.

Since the ouzos that most of us have suggested aren't easy to find all over Greece, it's safe to say that from the most popular brands, Mini is the one of best quality.

Now, hoping that I made no spelling mistakes (I don't have time to check, LOL), I'm off to meet one of our forum members and head to Ouzeri Lesvos for 2-3 bottles of Yianatsi and lots of mezedes.

Cheers everybody!

Athens, Greece
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22. Re: Ouzo and ouzo drinking

There are 4 Barbayianni ouzos! Blue label, green label black label(Aphrodite) & Evzon. They go up in strength, green (42%) is ok, blue I also like (46%), but the Evzon (47%) & Aphrodite (48%) are it bit strong in flavour, you can taste the alcohol over the anise.

I like all the ouzos I've had from Lesvos, I need to try the Chios one Nick! I am also happy with some of our local ones, in fact I've only ever had one that I actually disliked & I can't remember the name of it! Don't worry, I've only ever seen it that one time, so maybe it's so unpopular it's rarely served! Not keen on ouzo 12 either.

Athens, Greece
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23. Re: Ouzo and ouzo drinking

<Although Teteris is the most popular ouzo from Chios, my suggestion is 7. it's made by the same distillery but I find it more aromatic.>

Indeed, ouzo "7" is very very good. A bot hard to find but great :)

www.tetteris.gr/greek_ouzo_chios_7_en.aspx

tsou.gr/gallery/…PITSILADIS.JPG

By the way, some of these 200 ml bottles are really great decorative items. Pitsiladi, 7, both have fantastic bottle labels.

Edited: 27 June 2011, 18:01
South Pole
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24. Re: Ouzo and ouzo drinking

<<<By all means, please don't put your lips anywhere near Ouzo Plomariou Isidorou Arvanitou. It's supposed to be from Lesvos but it's distilled in Piraeus and it's the only ouzo that comes with a guaranteed hangover>>>

GUARANTEED hangover? Well I have drunk plenty of that brand & never got a hangover - looks like I've been short-changed!

Athens
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25. Re: Ouzo and ouzo drinking

Yiassas, FIVE Barbayianni ouzos, heee heeee!!! The fifth can only be found in Lesvos during the Ouzo festival. It's the most "fresh" ouzo that one can get (unless you "live" in a distillery)! It goes straight from the barel to your glass or (if you have the nerve to appear with one) your empty bottle!!!

Nick, for decorative purposes I highly recommend Matarelli.

Tsipouro, I won't get a hangover either but I'm used to ouzo. If a "rookie" drinks more than a glass of it they will regret it on the next morning. It is of very bad quality and the proof of that is that NO Lesviot will ever drink it or recommend it!

Speaking of ouzos, I just came back from Ouzeri Lesvos. We had 2 bottles of Yianatsi and several mezedes. It's not like the real thing but it's as near as you can get!

Athens
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26. Re: Ouzo and ouzo drinking

Oooooooooooops!!! I forgot! Ouzo 7 is available in Mastiha Shop and in a tiny shop that sells dried fruit and nuts next to the Market on Athinas Street.

If you are walking on Athinas Street towards Monastiraki, you will see it on your left hand, right after the Market.

They might also sell it at the new Lesvos/Chios/Lemnos shop, "Peri Lesvou", 27 Athinas Street.

Athens, Greece
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27. Re: Ouzo and ouzo drinking

>>>Yiassas, FIVE Barbayianni ouzos, heee heeee!!!<<<

Fair enough, but still only 4 available that the OP is likely to be able to get! :) I got all mine from the factory, I couldn't get one of the tanks in the car!

Athens
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28. Re: Ouzo and ouzo drinking

Ah, that's too bad! A tank of ouzo in the car could be proven quite handy!!!

I have a feeling that the "nouveau" ouzo of Barbayiannis might be available at "Peri Lesvou" for a while after the Ouzo festival But it's just a feeling that I got after talking to the people who work there and it might never happen.

I forgot to mention another ouzo of excellent quality, Samaras. There are two kinds (40% and 42%), I prefer the 40% because it's more aromatic and goes better with food.

BTW, Aphrodite (the stronger ouzo of Barbayiannis) and the 42% of Samaras make excellent drinks by themselves, without meze.

Edited: 27 June 2011, 23:35
Habich
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29. Re: Ouzo and ouzo drinking

Well I just got up. You guys are giving much important information. I'm going to print this out and take it with me.

We are also going to Chios!!! Juhu!!! Get some good stuff!

I like the taste if licorice so I'm sure to enjoy tasting a few different brands. Something like ouzo can only really be enjoyed in Greece. Yes, I can imagine that.

Athens
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30. Re: Ouzo and ouzo drinking

There are a few recipes from Chios that seem to be made for ouzo!!!

Chios is the homeland of a thousand red squash (they call it tambouras) recipes, LOL! Besides pie, which is the obvious, these two are worth trying:

-Tambouras&onions. It's like a big pancake made of squash slices, onions and cheese.

-Dhavrolia. One would call them squashballs but these little tasty devils can be anything from pancakes to ravioli to pies!!! I'd say it's the comfort food of Chios.

Another product that Chiots use it to create heaven-bites is fennel. The fennel&tarama balls are to die for, so are the little fennel pies, which are dumplings with fennel and cheese. Yum!

Off-topic (but alcohol-related), since you'll be in Chios, make sure that you try the local liquor, Mastiha. Before dinner, after dinner... any time of day or night is a good time for a very cold mastiha liquor. Give it a try with the local almond sweets, Mamoulia.

I'm sure that Nick will have more and more and more suggestions regarding Chiot mezedes and ouzomezedes!!!

Edited: 28 June 2011, 11:05