spacer.gif Greek version  

The Ouzo Of Plomari.


Plomari Lesvos.


About Ouzo of Plomari

Plomari is famous world wide for it’s production of ouzo. The ouzo of Plomari is traditionally known as the best ouzo in Greece. Right now in Plomari there are four companies which make ouzo the traditional way. These are: Arvaniti, Barbayanni, Giannatsi and Pitsiladi. The ouzo Arvaniti and Barbayanni are the most well known ouzo companies world wide. The Barbayanni company is also well known for it’s museum of ouzo which is situated near Agios Isidoros  in Plomari, where thousands of visitors come every year. It is also the most significant attraction of Plomari.

Photo from the musseum of Ouzo Barbayanni.

Traditional cauldron for the product of Ouzo.

The Ouzo Festival

Every year at the end of July the four ouzo companies in collaboration with the town hall of Plomari, organize the famous ouzo festival which is one of the most important gastronomical events of Greece and Lesvos, where people can come and enjoy the different varieties of ouzo, specially made “mezedes” and the live traditional Greek music and dancing by famous Greek artists and dancers. This event lasts for 3 to 5 days. Click here if you like to see photos and videos from The Ouzo Festival of summer 2008.


Our Ouzo Group In Facebook: Ouzo from Plomari - Fans Click Here.

About “Meze”.

The best mezes for ouzo is mainly sea food. In the restaurants and taverns of Plomari, you can taste delicious smoked and salted sea food mezedes, some of them are octopus, calamari, mussels and big variety of fresh fish.

Sea Food for Ouzo.

Information about ouzo from the page of


The history of ouzo is somewhat murky, but some claim it may date back in one form or another to ancient times. Its precursor is tsipouro (known by some Easterners as raki), a drink distilled throughout the Byzantine Empire and continued throughout Ottoman times. Traditionally, Tsipouro is said to have been the pet product of a group of 14th century monks living in a monastery on holy Mount Athos. One version of it is flavored with Anise. It is this version that eventually came to be called Ouzo[1].

Modern ouzo distillation largely took off in the 19th century following Greek independence, with much production centered on the island of Lesbos, which claims to be the originator of the drink and remains a major producer. When absinthe fell into disfavour in the early 20th century ouzo is one of the products whose popularity may have gained (it was once called "a substitute for absinthe without the wormwood".)[2] In 1932, ouzo producers developed the method of distillation using copper stills, which is now considered the canonically proper method of production. One of the largest producers of ouzo today is Varvayanis (Βαρβαγιάννης), located in the town of Plomari in the southeast portion of the island, while in the same town pistillate (Πιτσιλαδή), a variety of high quality ouzo, is also distilled.

Commonly, but not at all traditional in the western world, ouzo is served with cola either in premixed cans or bottles or simply mixed to the desired taste. However Ouzo is traditionally mixed with water, until it takes on a murky, white demeanor, and served with ice in a small glass. Ouzo can also be drunk, straight, from a shot glass. Mixing ouzo with cola destroys the liquorice-like taste of Ouzo. On October 25, 2006, Greece won the right to label ouzo as an exclusively Greek product. The European Union now recognizes ouzo, as well as the Greek drinks tsipouro and tsikoudia, as products with a protected designation of origin, which prohibits makers outside Greece from using the name.


The origin of the name "ouzo" is disputed. A popular derivation is from the Italian "uso Massalia" - for use in Marseilles - stamped on selected silkworm cocoons exported from Tyrnavos in the 19th century. According to anecdote, this designation came to stand for "superior quality", which the spirit distilled as ouzo was thought to possess.[3]

During a visit to Thessaly in 1896, the late professor Alexander Filadelfefs delivered to us valuable information on the origins of the word "ouzo", which has come to replace the word "tsipouro". According to the professor, tsipouro gradually became ouzo after the following event: Thessaly exported fine cocoons to Marseilles during the 19th century, and in order to distinguish the product, outgoing crates would be stamped with the words "uso Massalia"— Italian for "to be used in Marseilles". One day, the Turkish consulate physician, named Anastas Bey, happened to be visiting the town of Tyrnavos and was asked to sample the local tsipouro. Upon tasting the drink, the physician immediately exclaimed: "This is uso Massalia, my friends"—referring to its high quality. The term subsequently spread by word of mouth, until tsipouro gradually became known as ouzo.—The Times of Thessaly, 1959.

A more likely explanation however gives Sir G. Clauson in his book "An Etymological Dictionary of Pre-Thirteenth Century Turkish", Oxford 1972. At page 288 he says that the word "ouzo" derives from the word "uzum", which means grapes in Turkish.

Recently, in 2006, Ouzo was made a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product.

How ouzo is made

Ouzo starts by distilling 96 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) pure ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin (or 96 percent pure ethyl alcohol in which 0.05 percent natural anethole has been added) in copper stills together with anise and optionally other flavorings, such as star anise, coriander, cloves, and cinnamon. The product is a flavored alcoholic solution known as flavored ethyl alcohol or, more commonly as ouzo yeastμαγιά ούζου in Greek—a misnomer, as no fermentation has taken or will take place. Ouzo yeast is then usually mixed with 96 percent pure ethyl alcohol (the Greek law dictates that at least 20 percent of total final alcohol must originate from ouzo yeast), and finally sugar may be added and the mix is diluted with water (final ABV must be at least 37.5 percent), usually around 40 percent ABV. Some producers such as Varvayiannis, Babatzim (ouzo classic) and Pitsiladis do not add any further ethyl alcohol—they simply dilute ouzo yeast with water (and add sugar if needed). This type of ouzo is the highest quality and often of the highest price as well.

Ouzo production doesn't include any fermentation or multiple distillations, which is the case for tsipouro, another well known Greek alcoholic drink which is more related to Italian grappa than ouzo.

Aperitif drink

In modern Greece, ouzeries (the suffix -erie is imported from French) can be found in nearly all cities, towns, and villages. These cafe-like establishments serve ouzo with mezedes — appetizers such as octopus, salad, sardines, calamari, fried zucchini, and clams, among others. It is traditionally slowly sipped (usually mixed with water or ice) together with mezedes shared with others over a period of several hours in the early evening.

In other countries it is tradition to have ouzo in authentic Greek restaurants as an aperitif, served in a shot glass and deeply chilled before the meal is started. No water or ice is added but the drink is served very cold, enough to make some crystals form in the drink as it is served.


When water or ice is added to ouzo, which is clear in color, it turns milky white; this is because anethole, the essential oil of anise, is soluble in alcohol but not in water. Diluting the spirit causes it to separate creating an emulsion, whose fine droplets scatter the light. This process is called louching, and is also found while preparing absinthe.

28/7/2008 New Photos and Videos from the last day of Ouzo Festival.
New Photos and Videos from the last day of Ouzo Festival. The biggest event of the summertime in Plomari finished with a live concert of a famous Greek Singer: Petros Gaitanos.

Read more.

27/7/2008 New video added from the Ouzo Festival.
New video added from the ouzo festival of summer 2008 in Plomari. Traditional dancing.

Read more.

Photo from the Ouzo festival with live concerts in the summer of 2007.

Protouli Real Estate

News & More


Plomari City In FacebookForum Of Plomari City




Plomari City Online

Web site created by Dimitris Malliaros Copyright © 2001-2008.