Following Twitter references to ouzo and #ouzo there is a very specific group of people with old bad memories of ugly hangovers associated to ouzo drinking. This is commonly the result of improvised cocktails or slammer abuse but more commonly I would guess due to low grade pseudo (non distilled) ouzo or non A brand ouzo.
Here are some things to look out for:
1. Properly distilled ouzo is absolutely clear, you can’t really tell it isn’t water.
2. It also goes milky white in a balanced way when you add water.
3. The aroma is mild, it shouldn’t blow your nose away!
4. A whiff of aniseed, phinocio, gum, cinamon, kakoule and even chamomile are possible ideas as you bring it to your nose .
5. If you know your wines, good ouzo is semi dry.
6. The after taste on a good ouzo is smooth.
The two brands used as a reference point for most experts are Plomari as indicative of a common (No1 brand worldwide) ouzo and Adolo which is the ultimate in ouzo experience, by triple distillation in very limited production runs.
All this doesn’t mean that a local ouzo might not be great, just that it is difficult to be sure what is actually in it. And how you will wake up the next day. As emphasized in ouzo etiquette guidelines, this is generally a social drink enjoyed with company and food.