Fiery tsipouro from the regions of Macedonia and Thessaly, its Cretan version, tsikoudia, Santorini’s Vinsanto wine, the sweet wines of Samos, mastiha (mastic) liqueur from Chios, Corfu’s kumquat liqueur, and Naxos’ kitron, a citron liqueur, are all traditional Greek drinks made the time-honoured way with select raw materials.
Known and enjoyed both in Greece and abroad, these classic beverages are experiencing a shake-up at the moment, being whisked up into the exciting world of mixology. Tried-and-tested tipples are being poured into shakers to form the basis of refreshing and exciting new cocktails with a Greek touch, sure to be embraced by individuals seeking palate-thrilling adventures.
The rising trend of cocktails was confirmed by local MW (Master of Wine) Konstantinos Lazarakis.
“Generally, cocktails have been experiencing a new period of growth over the past few years. First of all, people prefer them because they enjoy observing the process of cocktails being made, which has something theatrical about it – you’re not just having a drink but, rather, enjoying a unique experience. Secondly, the range of ingredients is widening, making cocktails more interesting, especially in terms of flavour.”
Riding this wave, Greek bartenders are letting their imaginations lead the way. Greek wines and spirits, mixed with bitters, fruit juices, vegetables and a whole range of other ingredients, such as “local herbs, honey, even olives and yoghurt,” as pointed out by Lazarakis, are being included in the creative process and leading to delectable surprises.
Special thanks to Vassilis Kyritsis, co-owner and bartender at the Clumsies bar.
Pour 30ml of Naxos kitron liqueur into a champagne glass. Top up with Greek sparkling white wine.
Add three drops of Spanish bitters. Garnish with slices of dried beet root.
- 50ml ouzo
- 1 tsp icing sugar
- 20ml fresh lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- 2 drops Angostura bitters
Mix ingredients in a shaker. Pour into a sour glass. Add a few extra drops of bitters.
- 40 ml raki
- 25 ml sweet vermouth
- 2 drops orange bitters
Mix ingredients in a mixing glass. Pour into a coupette glass. Garnish with a small slice of dried orange.
- 40 ml Vinsanto
- 15 ml 7-star Metaxa or any other brandy
- 30 ml fresh orange juice
- 2 drops Teapot Bitters
Mix ingredients in a shaker. Pour into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a slice of dried apple and mallow leaf.
- 50 ml tsipouro
- 20 ml fresh lemon juice
- 15 ml vanilla syrup
Stir ingredients in a shaker. Pour into a collins glass. Fill with Three Cents grapefruit soda. Garnish with juniper berries and a cinnamon stick.