Greece is by far one of the most popular summer destinations, and besides its infinite beauty, what makes it so special is the fact that drinking is more than welcome and a big part of Greek culture. So, you will need to learn how to drink ouzo like a Greek if you want to fit in with the locals on the Island of the Winds this summer and show appreciation for their national drink.

Have You Ever Heard of the National Drink of Greece?

They say it’s always a good idea to read and do some research on your travel destinations before visiting them. When it comes to Greece, this is especially true for one aspect of Greek culture. You need to get to know ouzo – Greece’s national drink. It’s a very strong liquor that is a mandatory part of any vacation in Greece, so don’t even think about going home before you try it. Ouzo has between 40-60% alcohol percentage, and it has a very intense and sweet taste. It’s made from grape pomace and specific herb flavorings, usually anise, and distilled in copper stills. It was first introduced in the 1800s, and it’s been loved ever since.

Glasses of ouzo and meze
Moussaka is the national dish, and ouzo is the national drink of Greece

Knowing How to Drink Ouzo in Greece Is One of the Things You Need to Know Before Your Trip

Now that you know a little bit more about the spirit itself, it’s time to learn something even more important about ouzo – how to drink it. The first thing you need to do is gain the mindset of all the locals – you need to understand that ouzo is not just a beverage – it’s a social norm, a way of life, and something to be deeply proud of and enjoyed with people around you.

The importance of this national beverage is reflected in the fact that there are even specialized bars in Greece called ouzeries, dedicated to drinking ouzo the old-fashioned way. However, it can be found literally anywhere else in the country – in every shop, every bar, taverna, and restaurant, as well as all local households.

But what are the rules for drinking it? Is there a tradition you need to honor in order to fit in with locals and not offend them? It’s actually quite simple – there are no restrictions, drinking ouzo can be done anywhere, anytime, but there is a specific, traditional way of drinking it that most of the older generations of locals honor even to this day, especially on the Island of the Winds.

Here’s a Guide on the Traditional Way of Drinking Ouzo

Drinking ouzo in a specific, old-fashioned way is a time-honored tradition among Greeks, and it’s a very important part of their culture. The traditional way of drinking it is by gathering your friends and family over the dinner table at home, a local taverna, or an ouzerie, pouring everyone a glass of ouzo, putting out a rich meze, and letting the conversation flow freely while people enjoy talking for hours over great food and drinks.

Ouzo can be served in a tall glass with ice or neat, and most people even like to dilute it with cold water, when it turns from clear to a milky white color. It should be sipped slowly, while enjoying the taste and aroma of every sip. It is mandatory to serve a plate of meze, and it usually consists of small appetizers and finger foods such as olives, grapes, meat, cheese, spinach pies (spanakopitas), nuts, and so on.

The point of this tradition is to gather families and friends over good food and drinks and have them talk, laugh, and connect with each other. These days, while this tradition is still very much alive, ouzo has been incorporated into other, newer traditions as well, and it can be found as a star ingredient in many popular cocktail recipes across the country. It’s also a very popular drink of choice on Greek nights, as well as in nightclubs and beach bars.

It Is Also Used in Cooking as an Easy Way to Add More Flavor to any Greek Recipe – It’s a Staple in Mediterranean Cuisine

Besides being the national drink and the go-to alcoholic beverage on any night out, ouzo has another very common role – it’s as essential to Greek cuisine as wine is to Italian cuisine. It is used in a number of traditional Greek dishes as a secret ingredient that leaves you wondering how could the food from that taverna be so heavenly delicious.

It’s mostly used when cooking seafood, in dishes such as shrimp orzo, steamed mussels in a red sauce, as well as for marinating fish or reglazing the pan after sauteing any kind of vegetables or meat. Once you let the alcohol evaporate, your dish will be left with a very interesting depth of flavor that will take your cooking skills to the next level.

Person eating a shrimp risotto dish
Ouzo is the secret ingredient in many seafood dishes

Does a Summer on the Best Island in Greece While You Eat Greek Food and Drink Ouzo Sound Good? Just Contact Us

Having a perfect summer vacation doesn’t require much. Just some amazing Greek food, a few bottles of the finest ouzo you can get your hands on, a few gorgeous beaches, and most importantly – incredible accommodation. Luckily for you, the Island of the Winds offers all of that and so much more. It’s the perfect place to spend your summer holiday this year. So, contact us at The Ace VIP and make sure to book all your travel arrangements in time. Pick any of Mykonos luxury villas we offer and get to experience a truly lavish lifestyle.

Our private villas in Mykonos hold all the top-notch amenities one could ever need, and the Greek villas Mykonos has to offer are prime examples of what luxury should look like. Wrapped in gorgeous Cycladic architecture style lies all the comfort you could ever desire, all you have to do is choose one of the Mykonos villas for rental. You will also have a Mykonos concierge by your side in case you need anything else, whether it’s a car rental, extra towels, alcohol delivery, or to book a Mykonos yacht rental for a day cruise along the beautiful Aegean Sea.