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Ouzo cocktails

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Go Greek with Ouzo!

If you are looking for a unique and different type of cocktail, turn to ouzo, a popular Greek spirit. It is flavored like anise so if you enjoy sambuca or absinthe then you will love ouzo. Try it straight up or in a fun cocktail.

Greek ouzoWhat is ouzo

Ouzo is Greece's national drink and is only made in Greece. This liquor has its base with grapes and is then mixed with herbs and spices, especially anise (which tastes like licorice). Ouzo is typically served as an apertif with Greek appetizers (mezedes) like octopus, fried cheese, or a variety of meatballs, among many other dishes.

How to serve

The most classic way to serve ouzo is mixed with water, which will make it turn a milky white. You can then sip it and enjoy it with some mezedes. Or you can mix ouzo in cocktails (recipes below). Some good flavors to mix ouzo with are citrus juices, cranberry juice, banana, and mint. Try some experimentation, just remember that ouzo has a very strong licorice flavor, so pair flavors accordingly.

Choosing Ouzo

The selection of ouzo at your local grocery store may not be large so there may not be many options. However if there are a few different ouzo brands to choose from, then you should check the bottle for place of origin. Because Greece is the only producer of ouzo, what you are looking for is the specific area, (town, island) where it comes from. Most Greeks say that the island of Lesvos is the best place for ouzo. So if you can find an ouzo brand produced on the island that should be your choice. Otherwise, your price point is a good way to determine what is best for you. If you want to find your favorite, go to a Greek restaurant and sample a few brands to determine your favorite.

Ouzo Cherry Twister

Makes 1 cocktail

  • 1 ounce ouzo
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 2 ounces cherry juice
  • 2 maraschino cherries for garnish

Directions

  1. Shake ouzo with vodka and cherry juice over ice.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass; garnish with cherries.

Ouzo Sunrise

Makes 1 cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1/4 ounce ouzo
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • dash sugar
  • 3/4 ounces seltzer water
  • orange slice for garnish

Directions

  1. Shake vodka with ouzo, orange juice, sugar, and ice until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Strain mixture into tall glass and top with seltzer water then garnish with orange slice.

Tropical Dream

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce banana flavored rum
  • 1/2 ounce coconut rum
  • 1/2 ounce ouzo
  • 1/3 ounce blue curacao
  • 2 cherries for garnish

Directions

  1. Shake both rums, ouzo, and ice.
  2. Strain mixture into a cocktail glass then top with blue curacao and garnish with cherries.

More greek recipes

Heart healthy Greek diet
Greek food and wine pairings
Greek cheese recipes
Greek meze recipes

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