narrative: Χάρης Βεκρής

It’s been going on for some time now. I’ll be uploading on Instagram photos showing ouzo shot glasses with their appetizers and all I would think about was write on that topic. I kept putting it off. Still, as soon as the impact of the last shock, as commemorated in the article’s photo, had abated, I realized that I was running out of time.

It’s quite commonplace but by no means a set practice, to order a small carafe of ouzo crafted by a specific distillery, and have it arrive at your table accompanied by ouzo shot glasses featuring the logo of another distillery. Why? Is it possible that the distillery did not supply the ouzo place with complimentary shot glasses? As shown in the photo, that’s highly unlikely since distilleries customarily send complimentary glasses to their customers or dealers. Maybe, it’s not important, no matter what kind of glass you drink your favorite ouzo in, it still tastes the same. Granted, it’ll take more than a plain shot glass to alter the flavor of the ouzo we love. Still, how do you feel when you’re drinking ouzo from the island of Chios and, as you’re lowering the glass from your lips, you come face to face with the logo of a Drama distillery or vice versa? And, after all is said and done, isn’t that a bit of a bulldozing attitude which goes hand in hand with the mentality that says “aw, come on! All ouzos are the same.”?

I was in Brussels once. I had sat down somewhere and ordered a beer. My waiter came back promptly but empty-handed and very politely told me that he could not serve me the beer brand I had ordered because they were “out of its serving glasses”! Up to that point, I had thought that most beers were more or less the same. It was then that I learned that, for Belgians, it’s a no-brainer that beer X cannot and will not be served in the glass of beer Y. And here I am asking: isn’t it time that this unwritten law religiously adhered to by all, this implicit agreement that would only bring benefits to Belgian beer, also became the rule for our national drink?

Suppose we did it the Belgian way. Even if nothing else happened, the added value to our ouzo from serving it in the right glass would be indisputable. Establishing the practice “every ouzo in its glass” could contribute decisively to our products’ diversity and showcase even more prominently the brand of ouzo each distillery crafts. More importantly, we’re offering consumers a rounded taste experience worthy of the quality of the intoxicating aromas and traditional recipes offered by distillers in Greece and Cyprus.

Will we be able to upgrade the image of our beloved national drink? Will we do the right thing and address ouzo with the courtesy befitting its sophisticated taste? Can we make it clear any which way we can that one ouzo differs from another, that not all ouzos are the same?

Sure we can: every ouzo in its glass!

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