Ouzo (ούζο) is an anise-flavored aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece and Cyprus. Similar aperitifs include oghi from Armenia and among Western Armenians, pastis (France), arak (from the Levant) and raki (from Turkey) although, in Greece, raki is generally not anise-flavored. Its aniseed flavor is also similar to the anise-flavored liqueurs of sambuca (Italy) and patxaran (Spain) and the stronger spirits of absinthe (France) and a variation of mastiha (Chios, Greece). It can be consumed neat or mixed with water.
So says Wikipedia… but in fact ouzo is much more than a traditional backdrop to a Greek island setting as it is enjoyed all over the country and in fact the world.