Ouzo and the similar tsípouro (north mainland) and tsikoudhiá (Crete) are simple spirits of up to 48 percent alcohol, distilled from the grape-mash residue of wine-making. The former is always flavoured with anise, the latter two may be unadulterated or also have a touch of anise, cinnamon, pear essence or fennel. There are nearly thirty brands of ouzo or tsípouro, with the best reckoned to be from Lésvos and Sámos islands, or Zítsa and Týrnavos on the mainland. Note that ouzo has the peculiar ability to bring back its effect when you drink water the morning after, so make sure you don’t plan to do anything important (not least driving) the next day.


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