In Greece ouzo is a philosophy, a way of life. While the “traditional” drinkers won’t be caught dead mixing ouzo with anything but water, in the fancy clubs you’ll find some of the most interesting combinations.
Ouzo is a very strong drink produced in Greece and which has an anise or licorice-like flavor. Traditionally it accompanies mezedes and is served with water and/or ice.
In the clubs all over the world and, of course, in Greece you will also find ouzo in mixed drinks. Many people won’t ever consider mixing ouzo with other ingredients but you’ll be surprised at the nice combinations which can be created. Of course, it takes a very good bartender to find a perfect match but luckily for us, others have tried and now we just have to make sure we follow their recommendations. Don’t forget that the drinks will probably have different names in different clubs, but if you remember the ingredients you’ll know what to expect in terms of how strong the cocktail will be.
Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting ouzo cocktails and by all means, do try them at home!
Ouzo Long Drink
Let’s start with a rather easy to mix cocktail, served everywhere in the world. You’ll need a tall glass, 1.7 oz (50 ml) vodka, 0.3 oz (10 ml) ouzo, 3 ice cubs, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2/3 oz (20 ml) soda water and orange juice. To begin, put the sugar in the tall glass than add the ouzo, vodka and soda. Stir and then add the ice and the orange juice to fill the glass.
This is a rather easy to make cocktail and it’s not that strong either. You need 1 part ouzo and 4 parts orange juice, 4 ice cubs and a normal glass. In the shaker add the ouzo, the juice and the ice. Shake and strain into a normal glass. Add a squeeze of lime and garnish with a lime slice. (see photo left-up)
How about trying a different color for an ouzo cocktail? In a short glass pour equal quantities (1/3 oz) of blue Curacao, banana liqueur and ouzo. Needless to say, this is going to be a very…strong experience. (see photo right)
This simple, yet strong cocktail will remind you of martini…but with a Greek twist. In a cocktail glass add ¼ oz of Ouzo and 1 ¼ oz of Vodka. Garnish with a Greek olive, of course.
Greek Spring Punch
If you are looking for something refreshing and light, you can try this cocktail. In a tall glass combine 3 oz of semi-dry white wine (preferable something from Greece), 1 oz Muscat, 1 oz Ouzo, ½ oz orange juice, ½ oz lemon juice, ½ pineapple juice, ½ oz cranberry juice and 1 oz cinnamon syrup. Garnish with fresh mint.
Banana Cherry Cocktail
This is another colorful ouzo cocktail for which you’ll need a cocktail glass and a shaker. In the shaker add 1/3 shot Jägermeister, 1/3 shot banana liqueur, ½ coconut rum and 1/3 shot ouzo. Make sure all the ingredients are chilled. Also add ice to the shaker. Strain in a cocktail glass and carefully add 1/3 shot blue Curacao. Garnish with two cherries and enjoy! (see photo left)