I am not a big fan of ouzo because I don’t enjoy anise – I find it overpowering.
Drinking Tsipouro however brings a sensational salty, iodine-like flavour to my lips but this is not part of its flavour profile. It derives from my memories; salty hair, sun-kissed cheeks and summery carelessness. My mum says that she likes drinking tsipouro only to indulge the first gulp of an ice cold beer in the summer. I can relate to that.
Tsipouro without anise is a very delicate spirit, made from distilled grape pomace mainly in Thessaly, Epirus, Macedonia, Mani Peninsula, and the island of Crete (tsikoudia). It’s twice or multiple times distilled and only the best quality alcohol is used for the final distillate.Well, now it’s the time to open your horizon and welcome a new type of tsipouro to your brandy checklist – the aged Tsipouro.
I tried Dark Cave by Tsililis for the first time at Vogatsikou 3, Best Cocktail Bar in Greece as awarded by the FnL Awards, and it was absolutely stunning! I was feeling particularly euphoric that evening, as we were celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday but I am sure that my glowing mood didn’t cloud my judgement.
Dark Cave has a rich nose full of ripe figs and glazed grapes with walnut and almond notes followed by a velvety, tongue-hugging mouthfeel; simply nectar-like! Made from fresh pomace of aromatic grapes like Muscat Hamburg (Black Muscat) and Roditis and is seasoned with red and sweeet vinsanto after 5 years of ageing in French and American oak barrels – this elegant yet powerful spirit has changed my idea of tsipouro completely!
I added one small ice cube in my glass which accentuated all the aromas and released every single citrus peel and warm spice I could think of.
What is your experience with tsipouro and have you tried any aged ones?
Keep your eyes peeled for these aged gems because they are here to stay!
P.S. Vogatsikou 3 used to be called Bel Air, one of the most succesfull and well-known bars of Thessaloniki and it is the place where me and my friends spent some wonderful times (months rather…) during our university years . Heart-warming memories! It feels very satisfactory to be able to go back to a place filled with happy memories and music.
If you want to try Dark Cave, you can find it at houseofwine.gr