Drinking with friends like a Greek

Tsipouro is an authentic Greek product closely interwoven with the Greek lifestyle, hospitality and entertainment. It is produced by the distillation of grape marc.

High-quality grapes are integral to the production of superior Tsipouro. As a result, factors such as the grape variety, the composition of the vineyard’s soil, its altitude and orientation, the particular year, the cultivation practices, the year of vintage, etc have a crucial role to play in terms of the end-product.

During the distillation process, the distillers’ skill and know-how lie in being able to capture the grapes’ characteristics in terms of aroma and taste, as shaped following the fermentation of the grape marc, and adding their personal touch to the final distillate. In certain regions of Greece, aromatic seeds or plants (such as anise, fennel, saffron, walnut tree leaves, etc) are also added to the still apart from grape marc, in quantities and at proportions that form well-kept secrets of each and every producer.

Certain distillates may be selected and left to age in oak casks for a number of years to impart characteristics of spices, dried fruits, vanilla, chocolate, smoky aromas, hints of leather, barrel wood, etc, depending on the type of Tsipouro and ageing conditions. Tsipouro that has not aged in oak casks primarily displays fruity and flowery characteristics rather than spicy ones.

Although there are no scientific studies regarding the effects of white spirits, most experts estimate that, in small doses (1-2 glasses) tsipouro can have a beneficial effect to one’s health. Firstly, tsipouro (anise free) is an excellent digestive. Also, thanks to alcohol, causes vasodilation and pressure reduction. Furthermore, it has antimicrobial properties, and it is used in many practical remedies for colds, fever and headache.

The first production of Tsipouro was the work of monks back in the 14th century. This idea of using the residues of the wine-making process in order to produce a distilled spirit was gradually passed to viticulturists. That was how the viticulture product named Tsipouro was born.

Tsipouro is consumed as an aperitif before a meal, accompanied by appetizers. It makes an excellent accompaniment to pungent-tasting meat and seafood cooked in a number of ways, matured cheese and processed meat products, not to mention pure earthy dishes such as pickles, grilled wild mushrooms, tomatoes in sea salt, olives on home-made rusks and oven-baked potatoes. Tsipouro may also be consumed to put the finishing touches to a rich meal thanks to its sharp taste and digestive properties. It is enjoyed to the full when served cool at 10ºC or with a small amount of ice.

The latest revision of the EU legislation on spirit drinks has led to the recognition of Tsipouro as protected designationS of spirit drinks exclusively produced in Greece and the establishment of the respective geographical indications for the regions set forth below: Tsipouro of Thessaly, Tsipouro of Macedonia, Tsipouro of Tyrnavos.

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