Ouzo is deeply connected with Greece, and there are indications that it has been consistently produced since ancient times. Its production demands special skills; part of it is produced by distillation and a larger part is water flavoured with various aromatic herbs, of which aniseed prevails. In Greece, ouzo is particularly popular during lent (Sarakosti), as it is well-suited to the lenten foods.
It is not by chance that the current home of Ouzo is Lesvos. In Lesvos' gulf of Kaloni, large quantities of sardines are fished, a special treat when salted;
Ouzo is an ideal accompaniment for sardines and other salted seafood such as herring and anchovies, as well as for fried squid, whitebait, other small fish.
The same applies for all grilled seafood, like octopus, calamari, and certain large fish grilled with lots of sea salt.
Ouzo also suits olives; olives with Ouzo is a favourite meze in olive-producing regions, such as Kalamata and Lesvos.
In the contemporary big city, the proposal “let’s go for Ouzo or Ouzakia” has a special meaning. Its prerequisites are a large company of friends and lots of 'kefi' (a Greek term that can only be translated as 'appetite for fun'). It might be a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and the bottles finish quickly, one after the other.
Ouzo, along with the right food, is the best stress-reliever; it lifts the mood and creates bonds amongst people.
But be careful; in large quantities, ouzo leads to very bad hangovers! Thus, for those who drink it, it’s not always a pleasure. Nevertheless, it still has its special position in the life of the city.