Six Spirits That Evoke Far-off Destinations
"Mastiha spirit, an ancient drink for modern times: Any Greek restaurant in the United States would likely have a choice of ouzo, the anise-flavored liquor that Greece’s older generations down with fried sardines as commonly as executives pair Bordeaux with filet mignon. (Or used to, when going to steakhouses was still a thing.) But it’s hardly the only spirit of the nation.
In the cafes of the Greek islands, glasses have long been filled with a mastiha spirit. Mastiha, a resin that’s recognized as a superfood, comes from trees that only grow on one Greek island (Chios). It’s been used in alcoholic drinks since Aristotle’s time and even served as the ancient world’s chewing gum. (It provides the linguistic root for the verb “masticate.”) Shown to aid digestion, the drink is traditionally served before or after meals. Effie Panagopoulos calls the spirit Greece’s best-kept secret. Or it was, at least, until she gave the game away in March 2018 when she launched Kleos, the first super-premium brand of the traditional liqueur. Fresh and vegetal with a hint of sweet mint, you can drink it as a functional digestif or mix it 50/50 with any base spirit."
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