Drinking alcoholic beverages has a symposium-like and festive quality abundant at celebrations in Greece, especially on name days, birthdays, holidays, weddings, gatherings, graduations and christenings. It’s part of everyday life and drinking in moderation proves healthy for the human organism, medical surveys show. Tourists are tempted to try the unique flavors of Greek alcoholic beverages which have their origins lost in the shrouds of the past but manage to survive to date through the locals’ preference. Here are the most famous drink which one must try on their visit to Thessaloniki.
Tsipouro is a Greek traditional distillation product from the pomace of grapes (the residue of the wine press) particularly brewed in Thessaly, Epirus, Macedonia, Mani Peninsula and the island of Crete, where Cretans call it tsikoudia. Tsipouro is a strong distilled spirit containing approximately 45 percent alcohol. Other areas of Greece use the name raki.
This anise-flavoured aperitif is a symbol of Greek culture and has many scores of thousands of enthusiasts in Greece. Ouzo is traditionally mixed with water, becoming cloudy white, and served with ice cubes in a small glass. Ouzo can also be drunk straight from a shot glass. Served with a small plate of a variety of appetizers called mezes,ouzo has a smooth yet distinctly sweetened taste that can bring light-headedness in only a few shots.
Retsina has been something like the national beverage for Greeks since the 1960’s. Produced from Greek white (or rosé) resinated wine, the beverage has been made for at least 2000 years. Its unique flavour is said to have originated from the practice of sealing wine vessels, particularly amphorae, with Aleppo Pine resin in ancient times.
The geographical anatomy of Greece and its climate serve the brewing of some 300 elegant indigenous wine varieties in the best possible way. The vast quantity and flavors of Greek wines make it imperative for everyone to taste a glass of God Dionysus’ liquor with their food. When in a restaurant remember to share your wine from the karafe or bottle because that’s common when eating with Greeks.
Beer has been brewed in Greece since 1834 when the father of brewmaster Johann Karl Fuchs came to Greece. In 1864 he founded the Fix brewery in Athens that would become the first major brewery in the country. Since then, Heineken (the Green) and Amstel (the Red) are two brands of beer that have taken gradually most of the Greek beer market together with Mythos and Vergina beer.