Thursday, October 12, 2006


Drink of the Week: Metaxa and Sparkling Wine

Seriously. Until a few happy hours ago, I had no idea what Metaxa was.

But there I was at a late night barbeque. I pointed to an outrageously tall and brightly labled bottle behind my hostesses well stocked bar and inquired about its contents.

Instantly I was served a glass, swilled and swooned.

I had a second glass.

I encouraged my fellow revelers to imbibe.

I was a dilettante on a mission to convert the masses.

I wanted to start a trend.

I wanted everyone to know the glory of Metaxa.

I was a bit tipsy at that point.


The next day, upon further research (ooh, I do love research!) I learned Metaxa is a classic and somewhat coveted Greek beverage. A flavored brandy, sort of like gin, but you know, starting with wine instead of clear alcohol.

The flavor is strong but sweetish, with juniper, rose and herb notes. It is mellow but bold and broad. It is delicate but the taste is huge. It's a whole lotta flavors all at once. Complexity in a glass.

That must be why it was served to me mixed with sparkling wine. Alone it could possibly overwhelm a girl. Then again, I think it did anyway.

Mixed it was a coy shade of amber. Mysterious. Pretty and bubbly.


Perfect with Greek meze or (in my case) barbequed chicken. The sweetness of the bbq sauce was a perfect compliment to the herbaceousness of the alcohol.

Find some, try it and enjoy! You will be a convert too.

1 oz. Metaxa
3 oz. sparkling wine

Pour the Metaxa into a glass, top with the chilled wine and serve.


Metaxa is a Greek spirit that was invented by a silk trader named Spyros Metaxas in 1888 in the Attica region, in the province of Athens.

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Mmm! This sounds far better than the only other Greek beverages I have had in my past - Resina (ew) and Ouzo (also ew). But I've never seen it...seems like I need to do some research of my own!
It is worth it, I think. Though I would find a bar and try it before you buy it, since the bottle I was served from seems to run about $50. If you like gin or absinthe, you should like this too.

And I agree Resina is pretty potent stuff...not at all my taste.

Ouzo on the other hand...i lurve. Mmm. Black licorice...
I remmeber your father loved this drink. He bought some whenever we went to Greece.
I like that you said this would go well with barbecue. I've been looking for something else to have with barbecue besides beer. I can't wait to try it.
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