Souvenirs 3/6 – spirits-liqueurs-refreshments
Spirits as a souvenir from Greece?
Certainly yes. After all, your friends will love you.
Remember: in Greece the legal age to drink and buy your booze is 18. So, you can purchase alcohol spirit as souvenir only if you are older than 18. Additionally, you can only bring spirits as souvenir back home, if you have enough bubble wrap. However, you can follow my lead. I am wrapping the bottles in my blouses to prevent breaking.
It is our national alcoholic aperitif treasure. Xaxaaa! We even have a museum for it in Plomari of island Lesvos. It has a distinctive dry-anise flavor. Nooooot!!! The flavor is very intense. Even for us. Ouzo has its roots in tsipouro, since a version of it was flavored with anise. Ouzo is protected from the European Union with Designation of Origin from 2006. You have-to-try it. I am not sure if you are gonna love it. Maybe you could try along with other flavors like star anise, fennel, mastic, cardamom, coriander, cloves or cinnamon. Most of us we dilute it with water. That gives it this white look. A lady friend of mine adds orange juice to make it even lighter. However, it is a nice gift for your friends back home. Whatever you choose from Plomari, Tyrnavos, Varvayanis et., I hope you will enjoy it.
It is an alcoholic pure or anise-flavoured spirit with 40-45% alcohol by volume. It is said to have been the work of a group of 14th-century monks on Mount Athos. They produced it from the pomace of grapes. Hot or cold, aged or not, you will definitely find it interesting. Try Tsililis dark cave, tirnavos, katsaros aged, apostolakis, zitsa, babatzim, etc. etc. etc..
Raki or tsikoudia
It is basically island Crete’s tsipouro with even more alcohol by distilling the pomace. You can try it in every cocktail bar or tavern in Athens in the form of hot cocktail called rakomelo. Basically, it is hot raki with honey, cinnamon, anise and nutmeg. I can assure you, that you’re gonna blow up your mind with this one. Or choose a lighter taste with fruits like strawberry/watermelon/cherry/peach/caramel/mint/blueberry or chocolate-flavored. Try Moscato, aquila from Crete, Cretan potiraki, 35N, ByRaki etc..
It is an amber spirit from 1888 that combines aged wine with botanicals. It’s like brandy with wine. We are using it not only to drink but also at the pastry making. Further, you can find it anywhere. At grocery stores and to liquor shops and bars… and in coffee places. Try the original metaxa. It is totally worth it. You can buy this spirit as souvenir also for chefs, since we are using it at the culinary and confectionery.
It is a white resinated wine from pine trees. Often, we use it at the culinary or pastry. Try the famous kourtaki or papagiannakou, georga black label, retinitis nobilis, amphore and kexri.
Ohh what can I say? We have many-many-many red wines to choose according to your preferences. They have many vitamins like ferrum and magnhisium. With them, you can accompany a variety with cheeses or your meal. Or you can choose a sweeter with bubbles for your confectionery. Dry or sweet. There are limitless choices.
Coming from Chios island has mastic flavor comes from mastiha resin. This sweet 30% alcohol flavor reminiscent of pine and cedar. We are consuming this after the meal to help the digestion of the stomach. Try Skinos or Homiriko or Apalarina or Roots or Drops or Vrettos Masticha and many more. Especially the ladies prefer this instead of ouzo, because it is much sweeter. Consequently, you will buy it for your wife, mother, lady friend etc.. Bonus: It becomes in special shaped-bottles like red heart from cinnamon/pomegranate taste, tree & Santa-Claus. So, find out which is her favorite color. After that, you can choose a blue one from vodka added, a colorful flowered bottle with strawberry or a lemony one. You can also find many recipes with this liqueur, which you are going to love them.
It has a dark red color and only 25% alcohol. It is produced in Patra since the 15th century and has a taste of distinctive cinnamon along with cloves and nutmeg.
This liqueur arrives from the island of Corfu. It’s made from an orange small fruit which belongs to the category of citrus. Drink it plain or with soda water.
Choose our traditional hot ground coffee with the fine blend making in the special small pot called briki. This would be a nice coffee set for gift. The Greek companies of Pal and Voutsinas are making stainless steel and non-stick briki. Or try the cold brew of nescafe frappé which is our national product. It is a daily ritual for us. We are drinking coffee 2-4timew a day. That is the reason why coffee is the 25% of the domestic turnover. Wow! That’s why we also have many nice porcelains to drink our coffee. Drink it like a Greek in a small white cup watching people goes by. Try Loumidis blend, Sarakinikos, Bravo, Santos, Mendonis etc.. If you like a lighter blend, then taste Xenias with Chios mastic flavor or Milmak with bergamot flavor or a cardamom taste.
Try to bring a set to your mother as a gift from your trip in Greece. If you can afford it, choose a set with many painted decorations or one with her name on it. Additionally, I am sure that she is gonna love the cups with the 24k gold around them. Similarly, you can buy a larger cup for yourself. Drinking your coffee in a Greek mug every day, you will definitely make you remember your vacations in here.
Tip: Be careful with the coffee residue. Normally, we do not drink it, because it is bitter.
Greek mountain herbal tea or sage tea
It grown up to the rocky mountains over 1000meters altitude and it has ~20 different varieties. This tea is popular because its boosting properties to the immune system. It helps digestion and anxiety problems, since it hasn’t caffeine. Moreover, it soothes the flu, stress and fatigue.
On the other hand, sage is very antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Furthermore, it helps blood sugar control, it boosts heart and oral health. Most importantly, it improves the mood. Especially, women’s mood, since it soothes menopause symptoms.
You can continue reading all the categories of souvenirs from Greece following this article:
- Sweets and confectionery
- Soft drinks
- Home decorative
- Personal items
Choose your category and click it to see the souvenir choices, depends on your buying preferences.