A common misconception on Greek spirits and liquors is that there is nothing exceptional to experience than just the famed Ouzo drink, usually served cold with ice or dilluted with water along with snacks, mezzedes in greek, during summer. At least that is the tourist view of things. Nothing could be further from the truth. Troughout Greece, local distillers offer a mind-boggling variety of tastes and flavors, most of which derive from family recipes and traditions dating back centuries or even millenia.
But even if someone wanted to narrow the scope of greek spirits production down to just ouzo, they would soon find out that nowadays there are hundreds of ouzo producers across the country, most of whom are starting to go back to traditional ways as attitudes and consumer trends change.
On the rise
The reason being that along with the Greek economic crisis, there’s also been a resurgence in popularity of domestic alcohols in recent years, a reversion from the 80s and 90s culture. Small Greek labels offering more traditional liquors are becoming trendier than the big companies.
Tsipouro, otherwise referred to as the “greek grappa” and produced since at least the 15th century with a variety of herbs and spices, was once considered the sort of thing old men enjoy in the village square and which younger men learn to appreciate too late in life. The clear greek spirit is now making a comeback among the younger generation.
Know-how since 1904
The globalization of food market has also paved the way for Greek spirits to reach consumers worldwide. It is therefore possible for every consumer to experience the tradition and love for distillation that products from producers such as “Vantana Distillery” have to offer.
The company was founded back in 1904 in the port-city of Patras in northern Peloponnese. Locals and later the entire country got to know the traditional distillery and tasted its drinks like ouzo, vermouth, rum, brandy, tsipouro, mavrodafni, the “sweet drinks”, especially the “Vantana Tentoura”, the famous drink of Patras.
But times change and wooden barrels gave their place to modern units of production-distillation-bottling. Maintaining the tradition of three generations in the process and the techniques of distillation, making strict choices of the most qualitative raw materials and keeping up with modern trends, the company has its eyes set on foreign markets.
And when you come across one of their products just remember: Greeks sip and savor their liquor, they don’t guzzle or shoot it. Try to follow their lead and you won’t regret it…