ANISE SPIR­ITS OLD AND NEW

THE LAT­EST DIS­TILLERS PROVE THE TRA­DI­TIONS BE­HIND OUZO AND PASTIS HAVE DEEP ROOTS — ONES THAT CAN GROW IN DE­LI­CIOUS NEW DI­REC­TIONS.

Seabourn Club Herald - - UNCORKED -

OUZO, FIRST AND LAST

In the mid-19th cen­tury, Niko­laos Kat­saros was given a cop­per still by rel­a­tives and used it to learn the se­crets of dis­til­la­tion and cre­ate the first ouzo. By 1889, the year of the Fourth Zappeian Olympiad, his ouzo had be­come an award-win­ning drink rec­og­nized through­out Greece, and by 1931 it was ex­ported as widely as France, Egypt and Amer­ica.

The orig­i­nal recipe for Ouzo Kat­saros, made from 14 dif­fer­ent herbs and seeds, was handed down through four gen­er­a­tions of the Kat­saros fam­ily and is still used to this day. Kat­saros Dis­tillery is the old­est dis­tillery of ouzo in the world, and is now lo­cated in a pri­vately owned, 64,500-square-foot fa­cil­ity with a pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of 2,000 bot­tles per hour. PASTIS BE­YOND PROVENCE

In 2011, dis­tillers Piero Nu­voloni-Bon­net and En­rico Gior­dana of the Ar­galà liquori­fi­cio made his­tory by pro­duc­ing the first Ital­ian ar­ti­sanal pastis. Nu­voloni-Bon­net had grown up around the spirit as he spent his sum­mer hol­i­days stay­ing with his great-grand­fa­ther in Greno­ble, France, who would of­ten en­joy the es­sen­tially French spirit af­ter a visit to the mar­ket. Mean­while, his friend Gior­dana had in­her­ited the Gior­dana di Roc­cavione Dis­tillery, a clas­si­cal spir­its man­u­fac­tory which had been founded by his grand­fa­ther but closed shortly be­fore his birth.

To­gether, the two child­hood friends en­vi­sioned a pastis made the old fash­ioned way, with no short­cuts, and us­ing in­gre­di­ents lo­cally sourced from the Oc­c­i­tan val­leys. In the Oc­c­i­tan di­alect, ar­galà means a deep sat­is­fac­tion, and that’s what the two dis­tillers sought to de­liver with their pastis made with 35 in­gre­di­ents in­clud­ing cin­na­mon, pep­per and cloves. Its taste is drier than many other pastis, which means it lends it­self well to cock­tails, as well as the tra­di­tional one part pastis to five parts wa­ter di­lu­tion — and, of course, it’s a per­fect com­ple­ment to Mediter­ranean ap­pe­tiz­ers such as olives, cheese and seafood.

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