You've Been Drinking Ouzo Wrong This Whole Time

Anyone who has the slightest inkling of traditional Greek cuisine has likely heard of ouzo. The drink is easily one of the most identifiably Greek beverages, after all. But those who haven't tried it or are curious about the quintessential drink might wonder just what the liquor is made of and how it is to be consumed properly.

Ouzo is only made in Greece, which explains why the drink is so ubiquitous in that part of the globe. The liquor is made using grape must, the very sweet grape juice that's left over after pressing and using the grapes to make wine.

Ouzo is far from sickeningly sweet. It is made with anise and sometimes other spices, so the clear liquor has a distinct black licorice flavor with a smooth mouthfeel. The traditional preparation of the drink, however, can leave the ouzo looking a little murky or almost as if it has sediment in it.

Don't throw it back

One of the biggest mistakes people make when drinking ouzo is that they drink it like a shot. Ouzo is meant to be sipped, savored, and enjoyed. Plus, according to CC Talents, taking ouzo shots will leave you feeling worse than you would after any other kind of shots.

Apart from shooting ouzo, the next misstep when drinking the Greek liquor is how it is presented. CC Talents explains that ouzo is best when it is cold, but that it shouldn't be refrigerated. Tsou.Greece goes on to explain that the liquor is traditionally enjoyed neat in a kanoakia, which is like a tall, slender highball bar glass. While CC Talents suggests serving ouzo with an ice cube or two, Discover Greece warns that if added with water it can cause crystals to form over the top of the drink. Instead, you should pour a small amount of ice-cold water into the ouzo to make it cold and refreshing. The cold water will turn the drink a cloudy white color because of the anise oils in the drink, according to Aqua Vitae Institute, but this transformation is part of the experience.

So, the next time you order ouzo or have a bottle at home, enjoy it slowly and serve it with a small pitcher of ice water to really do things the proper way.