Traditional Greek spirits have a unique character and are famous for their particularities and intense character, the most well-known obviously being ouzo, tsipouro and raki, but also many liqueurs with a more local style, such as the well-known mastiha.
However, in recent years Greek distilleries have begun to produce drinks that until recently were not labelled as Greek in origin and production or the locality of their ingredients.
In Greece there are more than 300 distilleries, some of which have begun to produce, among other things, gin, an alcoholic drink whose base is derived from the distillation of coniferous plants, mainly the Juniper.
The origin of the drink is from Western Europe during the Middle Ages and was initially created for medicinal use, but gradually and through continuous experimentation, it evolved into the well-known drink.
Now gin, in addition to the very popular gin-tonic, also provides a number of different cocktails, being a key ingredient in their creation, thus conquering a significant percentage of the world market.
In Greece in recent years, some distilleries with a long tradition and know-how have been distinguished in international competitions for the gin they produce.
The creators often do not stay within the narrow limits of the "recipe" but produce the drink with their own characteristic touch by flavouring it with Greek herbs.
Old Sport / Callicounis Craft Distillery
It is a London dry gin produced by the Kallinounis distillery in Kalamata, and in 2016 it was awarded at the International Wines & Spirits Competition in London with a silver medal. Remarkably, the prize is awarded by top tasters and drink judges, after a blind test of 600 gins from around the world.
Old Sport has 42% alcohol content and its production is the result of three different distillations, the first of which concerns the essential herbs that give the core of the flavour and aroma.
The second stage of distillation includes the herbs that give elements of specificity and characteristic aroma, while during the process of the third distillation the remaining elements are added.
You will find Old Sport in selected wineries and in the distillery's e-shop. (https://callicounisshop.gr)
Grace Gin / Avantes Distillery
The product is a London dry gin with a rich aromatic character, from the herbs found everywhere in Greek nature.
Its alcoholic strength is 45.7% points and its dominant aroma is juniper fruit combined with kritamo and shin. Pepper, cinnamon and myrtle flowers enhance the aromatic complexity of the drink.
The Avantes distillery is located in Chalkida and has a long tradition in the production of drinks. Grace Gin has received many awards and international recognition, such as the Gold Award at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, "Spirits Selection", a unique distinction for Greece.
You can get Grace Gin from selected wineries or the company's website. (www.avantesdistillery.gr)
Mataroa, Mataroa Pink & Mataroa Mediterranean Gin Limited Edition / Melissanidi Distillery Distillery
It is a London Dry Gin with 41.5% alcohol and 12 ingredients from the Mediterranean. In the taste you will recognise aromas of the Greek land, such as lavender, coriander and citrus fruits.
The distillery is based in Aridaia, Macedonia, and the production of Mataroa has clear historical references, something the company emphasises. Its bottle symbolises the historical ship of the same name and the mixture the power of the human spirit.
The pink composition of Mataroa Pink is based on the company's basic recipe, but it also contains two Mediterranean ingredients, pomegranate and hibiscus.
It is slightly lighter in alcohol content, 38%, but retains its rich and special taste. And Mataroa Pink can be a base for cocktails but can also be served on its own, with some ice.
Mataroa Mediterranean is a limited edition gin for the preparation of which fruits and herbs are used, with a special character, such as lavender from France, chamomile from Cyprus, mastic from Greece, etc. combined with the water that springs from Kaimaktsalan.
Its bottle is inspired by the precious heritage of Greek clothing. You can get the company's jeans from selected wineries or the company's website. (https://melissanidi.gr)
Dry River / Chariskos Spirits
Dry River is a limited edition spirit, produced in Drama by Hariskos Spirits. The essential component of the distillate is the native wild juniper from the valley of Xiropotamos Drama, a plant with a long tradition for its multiple benefits.
The juniper in combination with the local herbs are subjected to multiple distillation in the copper stills in the distillery with 43% alcohol. You can get it from the company's website. (www.greek-spirits.com)
GIN.GR / Hariskos Spirits
Another gin from Chariskos Spirits again with raw materials from the nature of Drama that give it a complex character with 37.6% alcohol. Wild juniper stands out with notes of fresh lemon, a gin recommended for all possible combinations.
You will find it on the company's website (www.greek-spirits.com)
Stray Dog / Stray Dog Wild Gin
Stray Dog is produced and bottled in Greece and is the brainchild of a second generation Greek- American who wanted to capture the essence of Greek flavour in a gin bottle. Its recipe contains 10 Greek herbs, such as juniper, sage, laurel, rosemary, mastic, etc.
The name of the jeans is not accidental, as its originator is an active animal lover and part of the proceeds from the sales is allocated to shelters for stray animals in Greece. It has 43.5% ABV and you can find it on the company's website. (https://straydoggin.com)
Gin From The Ground Up: Votanikon Gin / Votanikon
Votanikon is a Greek dry gin with a 40% alcohol content. It contains 20 of the most famous herbs of Greece, such as juniper, mountain tea, basil, dictamom etc. which give a special flavour complexity.
It is served in a cocktail, plain or with ice and you can get it from the company's website. (https://www.votanikon.com)
READ MORE: 5 Great Greek Red Wines For Cold Winter Nights.