Goodmorning from Mount Olympus and grandpa’s cauldron!!
Last days of tsipouro distillation and below are some important facts about this traditional drink of the greek countryside!
-Tsipouro is the extract obtained from the distillation of pomace (the residue of the wine press), containing a portion of fermented grape juice, not drained.
-Tsipouro, depending on whether it will be flavored with anethole or not, is distinguished in a) tsipouro with aniseed and b) tsipouro without anise.
-According to tradition, the first production of tsipouro was the work of Greek Orthodox monks in the 14th century on Mount Athos in Macedonia, Greece.
-The traditional cauldron was institutionalized by Eleftherios Venizelos around 1920, when permits were given to the Cretans farmers for the traditional raki boilers, in order to have the ability to produce raki from the grapes produced.
-Distillation was always “homemade” and launched after the grape harvest in late October and had a festive character.
-From 1918 until 1935 were given 15,000 licenses of distillation pot still ownership to wine growers. Since then, there haven’t been given permits to new winegrowers, but anyone who has a cauldron can sell it if he wants. These permits are hard to come by and their price can start from 6,000 euros and reach up to 25,000 and 30,000 euros!
-In 1883, the Greek state establishes the first law on the taxation of alcohol and in 1896 the first official licenses are provided to produce grape pomace distillate.
-A second distillation is usually performed, in which various other components can be added, such as anise, fennel, cloves, nutmeg and masticha, resulting this specific product to be purer and more aromatic.
-Anise-flavored tsipouro and ouzo have almost identical taste but vary enormously in their method of production.
-Tsipouro, raki and tsikoudia are the same drink. The main difference of tsipouro from tsikoudia or raki, is that raki is single distillated.
-Similar drinks in other countries, are the Cyprus Zivania, the Italian Grappa, Arak of the Middle East, the French Marc and the Serbian Slivovitz.
ρακή < turkish rakı < arabic عرق (araka)
Meanwhile, on the foot of Mount Olympus..
photos © chrysoula papagianni