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Ouzo factoids

Don’t get drunk: drink real A grade Greek ouzo

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.

It says "ouzo" but what is in it?

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.

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Ouzo factoids

Ouzo and alcohol abuse

Ouzo has rather unfairly been associated with alcohol abuse despite the fact that it has not got the highest alcohol content in its category.  It is also (see drinking etiquette) quite well known that this is a “social” drink, to be consumed with food and friends.   Here is what happens however when it is done the “wrong” way as reported by the BBC:

“Cocktail puts woman in hospital

A teenager from Teesside has vowed never to drink again after a holiday cocktail caused her head to swell to the size of a football.

Corinne Coyle (Middlesbrough Evening Gazette)

Corinne Coyle reacted to the 10 euro mixture of Baileys, chilli, tequila, absinthe, ouzo, vodka, cider and gin.

The 19-year-old spent two days in a hospital in the Greek resort of Malia.

Since returning home she has been treated at hospital in Middlesbrough where doctors said they did not know if her face would return to normal.

Doctors in Greece said the swelling was caused by a chemical reaction and they had seen a similar incident within the past couple of weeks.

She was allowed to fly home on Tuesday and has spent the last two days being examined at the James Cook University Hospital and by her GP. Doctors are still waiting for the results.

She has vowed never to touch alcohol again.”