Top 10 Best Ouzo Brands


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If you have had the privilege of travelling around the eastern Mediterranean countries of Europe, you may have tasted the regional spirit known as Ouzo. Although this liquor was created many centuries ago, the best Ouzo brands have now become synonymous with the region and growing in popularity around the world.

Now that there are so many options, we at the Drinks Geek have done our homework and created this thorough review to help you discover the 10 best Ouzo brands. Let’s begin with a bit of background about this storied spirit before we delve into the various brands that you should try for yourself.

What Is Ouzo?

Ouzo is a spirit that is immensely popular in the countries of Greece and Cyprus, where it originated, and it has a flavour that is mostly derived from anise. In addition to the main flavouring ingredient of star anise, other herbs and spices that are typically added to the distilled rectified spirit base may include cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, and coriander.

How Is Ouzo Made?

A variety of flavoursome botanicals, including anise, are mixed with a base spirit made of grape which then goes through a double distillation process to further refine the taste of the liquor.

Although this part of the process can raise the alcohol content past 80%, a bit of dilution ultimately takes the edge off to create a much more palatable drink that can be perfectly paired with various small plates such as olives, fries, or feta cheese.

Because different distilleries employ their own unique techniques and recipes in the production of Ouzo, the taste can vary a bit from one brand to the next. Here, we will guide you through the best Ouzo brands to make your decision a bit easier when you are planning for your next Greek dinner.

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Top 10 Best Ouzo Brands

The sun is shining, the sky is deep blue and the sea breeze is perfect. Here are our picks for the top 10 best Ouzo brands to complete the traditional Greek holiday experience. Enjoy!

1. Ouzo 12

Ouzo 12

General Info

  • Distiller – Koutsikos Distilleries
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – 38%
  • Country – Greece

The Brand

Whether you are looking for the perfect drink for your next party or something special to enjoy with your favourite Greek dishes, Ouzo 12 is always a great choice. Established in 1880 at a distillery founded by the Kayolannis brothers, Ouzo 12 is actually the first bottled Ouzo in history and continues its reign as the bestselling brand of this distinguished spirit across the globe.

The Taste

The flavour of this particular brand of Ouzo is a strong liquorice overtone that has been expertly combined with the peppery notes of fennel and the warmth of cinnamon.

Ingredients

Anise, fennel, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom come together to produce this exceptionally delicious Ouzo.

2. Ouzo 7

Ouzo 7

General Info

  • Distiller – Winery Of Thrace
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – 37.5%
  • Country – Greece

The Brand

Never judge a book by its cover, as this simply presented ouzo in its discreet clear glass bottle with a Greek fishing boat has tradition written all over it. This is of the purest forms of ouzo that can be enjoyed with orange juice, or sipped neat and paired with typical greek plates of olives and feta.

The Taste

The dominating flavour of anise used in this Ouzo will hypnotize your palate and transport you to the Mediterranean coast as hints of coriander and fennel seed provide the perfect background notes.

Ingredients

Anise, coriander and fennel seed.

3. Metaxa Ouzo

Metaxa Ouzo

General Info

  • Distiller – Metaxa
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – 38%
  • Country – Greece

The Brand

When you take an age-old aperitif like Ouzo and enhance it with a rare, expensive ingredient like mastic from the island of Chios, the bouquet of the final product is elevated into the stratosphere of fine spirits.

That is exactly what the producers of Metaxa Ouzo have done to create this Greek masterpiece. Perfect for savouring over ice or blending with your favourite tonic, this Ouzo, which is packaged in a gorgeous light blue glass bottle, is definitely one that any connoisseur can appreciate.

The Taste

The anise liquorice flavuor of this divine Ouzo is subtly enhanced by the oaky Aegean Masticha that has been artfully added to it.

Ingredients

Anise, Masticha, cardamom, coriander, and fennel.

4. Ouzo Of Plomari

Ouzo Of Plomari Isidoros Arvanitis

General Info

  • Distiller – Plomari
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – 40%
  • Country – Greece

The Brand

Ouzo of Plomari Isidoros Arvanitis is another exceptional example of this traditional Greek spirit. By using naturally soft water from the River Sedounta during the dilution process, they have been able to produce an Ouzo that is distinctly smooth and refined.

Additionally, all of the typical Ouzo essences and ingredients are regionally sourced, adding to the authenticity and complexity of this impeccable aperitif.

The Taste

The taste of Ouzo of Plomari Isisdoros Arvanitis begins with a clean liquorice flavour, courtesy of Anis Lisvori, and is supported by dashes of mastic gum extract from the island of Chios, Kallonian salt, and natural river water.

Ingredients

Anis Lisvori, star anise, mastic gum extract, fennel, Kallonian salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a proprietary blend of regional herbs.

5. Think Green Organic Ouzo

Think Green Organic Ouzo

General Info

  • Distiller – Think Green Natural Goods
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – 38%
  • Country – Greece

The Brand

Imagine what would happen if you took an ancient Greek spirit recipe and replaced all of the traditional ingredients with organic ones. Well, that is exactly what the creators of Thinkgreen Ouzu From Organic Ingredients did with their 100% double-distilled product.

They begin by distilling ethyl alcohol from organic whole wheat before adding organic versions of the standard aromatics that are typically used to make Ouzo. The resulting aperitif is not only delicious but also pure and clean.

The Taste

The taste of Thinkgreen’s organic Ouzo is very similar to the most established brands, with dominating liquorice notes that are further enhanced by the addition of warm spices and herbs.

Ingredients

Anise, fennel, coriander, wild fruits, and mastic.

6. Babatzim Ouzo

Babatzim Ouzo

General Info

  • Distiller – Babatzim Distilleries
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – 40%
  • Country – Greece

The Brand

Established all the way back in 1875, Babatzim is one of the pioneers of traditional Macedonian Ouzo. By starting with alcohol which has been distilled from grapes that grow at a staggering altitude of around 600 meters, they have been able to produce one of the most sought-after renditions of Ouzo that the world has ever seen.

After infusing their product with a perfect blend of aromatics and spices, the end result is excellent as a stand-alone drink as well as a complement to your favourite Greek snacks.

The Taste

The taste of Babatzim Ouzo can be best described as fresh and clean. Of course, your standard notes of anise and fennel are present, along with a touch of fruity sweetness.

Ingredients

Anise, fennel, additional aromatic seeds, fruits, and plants.

7. Thalassa Ouzo

Thalassa Ouzo

General Info

  • Distiller – E. Tsantali distillery
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – 37.5%
  • Country – Greece

The Brand

Thalassa Ouzu is a beautifully crafted beverage that fully expresses the tradition of Greece from the moment you open the bottle. The design of the glass which encapsulates this lovely aperitif is quite simple, save for the label.

The depiction of a sailboat floating about in the blue waters of the Meditteranean sea, which is printed on the label of this bottle of Ouzo, will definitely transport you to the relaxing shores of Greece.

The Taste

The taste of Thalassa Ouzo is simple and elegant, keeping with the traditional sharpness of liquorice that is followed by warm aromatics from various herbs and spices.

Ingredients

Anise, cardamom, and fennel.

8. Ouzo Jivaeri

Ouzo Jivaeri

General Info

  • Distiller – Jivaeri distillery
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – 40%
  • Country – Greece

The Brand

Produced with Olympian water, Ouzo Jivaeri is certainly worthy of a gold medal. This particular brand of Ouzo benefits greatly from an expert blend of botanicals that combine to create one of the most outstanding bouquets of flavours I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. Thanks to a triple distillation process, Ouzo Jivaeri is a clean aperitif that can be paired perfectly with fish, octopus, and all of the other fruits of the sea.

The Taste

The taste of Ouzo Jivaeri provides a sampling of the classic flavours of liquorice and warm spice that have been subtly refined to elevate it a few steps above the traditional Ouzo that the world has grown to love.

Ingredients

Anise, fennel, cardamom, and Olympian water.

9. Ouzo Tirnavos

Ouzo Tirnavos

General Info

  • Distiller – Katsaros Distillery
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – 40%
  • Country – Greece

The Brand

Ouzo Tirnavos is another timeless rendition of the storied liquor that utilizes grapes as the vessel from which its alcohol is distilled. Produced at the Katsaros Distillery, which was actually the first officially registered distillery in Greece, this Ouzo borrows its name from the scenic Tirnavos mountain range that it calls home.

Another advantage of the distillery’s location is that there is a constant stream of pure mountain spring water that is implemented in the production of this fine Ouzo.

The Taste

Ouzo Turnavos has an ultra-clean taste that comes courtesy of the grapes and mountain water used in the distillation process. Of course, anise and liquorice flavours work to offer classic Greek flavours that complement meze small plates and appetizers.

Ingredients

Anise, fennel, and a proprietary blend of botanicals.

10. Ouzo Kazanisto

Ouzo Kazanisto

General Info

  • Distiller – Stoupakis Distillery
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – 40%
  • Country – Greece

The Brand

Rounding out our list of the top 10 best Ouzo brands is Ouzo Kazanisto. In case you have any doubts about the origin of this delicious aperitif, the copper label with Greek lettering and an artists rendering of the country itself should be reassuring.

The appearance of Ouzo Kazastino also transforms into a milky white colour as it interacts with cold ice and oxygen, providing a visual experience to go along with your taste journey.

The Taste

The taste of Ouzo Kazastino is simple and conservative, allowing the essence of the liquorice and fennel to produce classic Ouzo flavours that may provide some nostalgia for anyone who has ever visited Athens or Santorini.

Ingredients

Anise, fennel, herbs, and traditional spices.

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Conclusion

If you have ever wanted to travel to Greece, or even been to a local Greek restaurant in your area, trying one of our selections of the top 10 best Ouzo brands should certainly excite your palate and transport you to the Meditteranean.

Although this regional liquor is made the traditional way, it is as authentic to Greece as olives and feta cheese. Ouzo is a classic aperitif that can surely add some variety and culture to your spirits collection and makes the perfect beverage for any gathering or celebration!

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