Messinian Ouzo

Ouzo is a strong, white, distilled spirit, produced from molasses and aniseed using the fractional distillation technique. The Messinian ouzo, in particular, is a traditional drink, which is exclusively produced by distilling aromatic plants and seeds such as anise, fennel, star anise, and coriander. Some local producers add mastic (mastiha), a little cardamon, garden angelica and a little nutmeg. There are many varieties of ouzo depending on the added aromatic substances and according to the recipes of old family producers of ouzo. Ouzo is a Protected Designation of Origin product of Greece, a fact that prohibits any other country from using the name.Ouzo can be drunk straight but it is usually consumed with ice or water. Adding water gives ouzo a cloudy white color, which is due to aniseed oil.

Ouzo is served with appetizers (mezedes), usually seafood, because the strong taste of aniseed goes well with iodine and salt. It can also be served with pasteli.

Nutritional Value

There are no substantiated studies that show benefits from the consumption of ouzo. A small glass of ouzo (40 - 50 ml) contains 40% alcohol by volume and approximately 150 calories. Excessive consumption of any alcohol, including ouzo, increasestriglyceride blood levels, blood pressure and body weight.

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