TasteAtlas: Tsikoudia, Tsipouro and Metaxa in the list with the Top 79 SPIRITS in the World!



The greek traditional spirits Tsikoudia, Tsipouro and Metaxa are included in the list with the Top 79 SPIRITS in the World -according to the gastronomy site TasteAtlas. The list below: 

BRANDY / Tsikoudia
Tsikoudia is a Cretan spirit that is distilled from fermented grape pomace (strafylo)—the solid remains that are left after the grapes have been pressed. Tsikoudia is traditionally distilled in October and November, usually in small, family-owned copper stills.

The final product is a clear, potent, and colorless drink with an alcohol content that can vary from 40 to 65% ABV. Tsikoudia is similar to tsipouro, another pomace spirit that is produced in other parts of Greece. Unlike tsipouro, tsikoudia is typically distilled only once, which helps preserve flavors and aromas.

Tskikoudia plays a central role in Cretan hospitality; it is a staple on various special occasions, and it is often used as a welcoming drink. It is typically served neat and well-chilled, and it makes an excellent aperitif or a digestif. Sometimes herbs and citrus zest can be used as flavorings, and the drink is occasionally referred to as rakı—though it is never anise-flavored.

Cretan tsikoudia is protected with a Geographical Indication mark.

Metaxa is a popular Greek spirit that is made from brandy

SPIRIT / Metaxa
Metaxa is a popular Greek spirit that is made from brandy (usually produced from Savatino, Sultanina, and Black Corinth grapes), a secret combination of botanicals, and the aromatic and carefully selected Muscat wines from the island of Samos.

The distillate and the wines are aged separately in oak casks before they are blended and flavored with botanicals. Every blend is then aged for a minimum of three years. Metaxa has a rich amber color, and it is praised for its smooth, complex, and intense flavor and aromas that are reminiscent of flowers, citrus, dried fruit, herbs, and spices.

Apart from specialty blends, Metaxa is available in four different versions, labeled with three, five, seven, or twelve stars—each star representing how long the drink has been aged. The drink was first invented in 1888 by Spyros Metaxa in Piraeus, a port city located within the Athens urban area.

To this day, Metaxa remains one of the hallmark Greek spirits. Although it is often incorporated into cocktails and long drinks, Metaxa is most commonly served neat or on the rocks.

Tsipouro is a strong Greek spirit is distilled from pomace

SPIRIT / Tsipouro
This strong Greek spirit is distilled from pomace—solid components of grapes that are left after the juice has been pressed. According to some records, tsipouro was first produced in the 14th century by Orthodox monks. The drink comes in its original, pure form, but some distillers infuse it with botanicals, primarily anise, to create the anise-flavored spirit that is traditionally mixed with water.

Plain tsipouro is best appreciated well-chilled and neat, served in shot glasses. It is enjoyed as a welcoming drink and typically accompanies Greek meze—assorted small dishes. In Crete, a similar drink with a stronger aroma goes under the name tsikoudia.


Often dubbed as the whisky center, Speyside is one of five official Scotch whisky regions

SPIRIT / Speyside Scotch
Often dubbed as the whisky center, Speyside is one of five official Scotch whisky regions. Although it is geographically a part of Highlands, this area is a separate appellation, because of the large concentration of distilleries and the high-quality single malts that come from the area.

Whiskies that are produced in the region are less peaty than other styles, but their character can vary from floral and fruity to rich and spicy. Although they were once similar to the robust styles in the Highlands, most distilleries in the area have shifted their focus on lighter and sweeter styles that display classic flavors of vanilla, apple, honey, oak, and dry fruit.

The most famous distilleries include Glenlivet, The Balvenie, Aberlour, Tomintoul, Glen Moray and Macallan, while Glenfiddich from Speyside produces the world’s best-selling single malt.