What to drink in Zante
In Zante you can find all the most popular Greek drinks, but if you want to drink something local you should definitely try the Birra Levante or the Solomos and Calinico wines.
Retsina is a wine with an additional taste of pine resin produced only in Greece. This is an odd combination that can be off-putting for those not used to the flavor profile, but the Greeks have been drinking retsina for thousands of years. The tradition started because the Greek winemakers lacked airtight containers, so covered their wine jugs with pine pitch. The pine pitch both sealed the bottles from incoming oxygen and also added the signature flavor.
Ouzo is a Greek liqueur that tastes like licorice, the flavor of which comes from anise. Ouzo is made with grapes distilled in copper stills. The anise is added, as well as other flavorings sometimes like fennel, cloves or cinnamon. 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” (appetizers). The alcohol content is about 40°. “Ouzeri” are Greek taverns that serve glasses of Ouzo accompanied by appetizers.
The tsipouro is a liqueur produced only in Greece. It is similar to Italian grappa as it is a distilled spirit made using the left over must from pressing wine. Tsipouro is most commonly enjoyed as an after-dinner aperitif and is served in a shot glass. The alcohol content ranges between 35 ° and 45 °. “Tsipouradiko” are Greek taverns that serve glasses of Tsipouro accompanied by appetizers.
Raki (“Rachi”) is pretty much the same as tsipouro the difference between the two is that during the process the Raki is distilled once, the Tsipouro twice. Who does not like the taste of pure Raki, can always drink Rakomelo, which is the traditional Raki mixed with honey, chiefly consumed during the winter as a warm drink The taverns serving Raki accompanied by appetizers are called “Rakomeladiko”.
Tentura is a liqueur traditionally and exclusively produced in Greece. It contains alcohol, water, sugar and fermented essences of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and citrus fruits. Its characteristic aromas and intense color are enhanced by the traditional secret recipes of each producer and the local spices, citrus fruits and local wines used. The alcohol content does not exceed 25 °. It is usually served after a meal to aid digestion.
Mastika is a liqueur flavored with a resin obtained from lentisk, called mastic and it is produced in Chios Island. It has a sweet smell and flavor similar to liquorice. Chios mastic is certified by the Agricultural Products Certification and Supervision Organization as part of the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food. The island’s mastic production is controlled by a co-operative of medieval villages, the Mastichochoria. It can reach an alcohol content of 30 ° and is served after a meal to aid digestion.