Tsipouro

"Tsipouro" ( _el. Τσίπουρο) is a distilled alcoholic beverage, more precisely a pomace brandy, from Greece and in particular Thessaly, Epirus, Macedonia, and the island of Crete, where the same spirit with a stronger aroma is known as "tsikoudia". "Tsipouro" is a strong distilled spirit containing approximately 45 percent alcohol by volume and is produced from the pomace (the residue of the wine press). In other areas of Greece, the name "raki" is used from which the term "rakizio" is derived, used to refer to the drink's distillation process, often the occasion for a celebration among family and friends.

According to the tradition, the first production of "tsipouro" was the work of some Greek Orthodox monks. This occurred during the 14th century on Mount Athos in Macedonia, Greece.Gradually, this idea of using the must left over from the wine-making process in order to produce a distilled spirit was passed to viticulturists in poorer regions of the whole country, which already used the distillation process for other purposes . Thus, "tsipouro" was born.

Depending on the time of year, "tsipouro" is used either as refreshment or as a hot beverage, and depending on the time of day, it replaces the drinking of coffee or wine. "Tsipouro" and "tsikoudia", as with all alcoholic beverages in Greece, always seem to coincide with various social gatherings, as their consumption had a festive and symposium-like quality.

It is usually served in shot glasses, very cold, often with meze, walnuts, almonds, raisins, feta cheese, olives, or accompanying halva or other desserts in restaurants.

In 2006, Greece filed a request to recognise "tsipouro" as a PDO (Protected designation of origin) product. ["Greece is claiming tsipouro, Kathimerini newspaper archived article 21 April 2006 [http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/content.asp?aid=68915] Accessed 12 December 2006." ]

Although not typical, anise-flavored "tsipouro" is also available, produced especially in Central Macedonia,Chalkidiki, and Thessaly. Although it has a very different production method, and is usually of a higher quality (and price), this tsipouro is reminiscent of the flavor of the much more famous Greek liquor, ouzo. [http://www.nestorimports.com/domaine_costa_lazaridi/idoniko/idoniko_anise.htm] [http://www.greekwines.com/spirits.htm]

Anise-flavored "tsipouro" is the closest taste to Turkish Rakı in Balkans, which is different from Greek Raki despite the common name.

ee also

* Greek cuisine
* Tsikoudia (Crete)
* Zivania (Cyprus)
* Grappa (Italy)
* Greek food products

References


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