Metaxa - Greece’s brandy
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  • I know that my tastes differ from friends who simply adore Greek food (I don’t like it at all) and this may be a similar instance

    • by Andrew HN Gray
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      When you’ve returned from foreign holidays, it’s strange how things that tasted really great wherever you were, now taste terrible. I have been to many countries and found this to be the case. I don’t know what the reason for things seeming to be good when you’re elsewhere and really dreadful when you get back home may be, but it’s a fact.

      I have been to one of the nicest places on Earth, which is Greece and seen wonderful artefacts. I’ve seen the Parthenon and even been there. I have seen Knossos where Theseus met the Minotaur (though there was no Labyrinth when I got there). The landscape is just stunning and you haven’t lived until you have awakened in the dawn of a perfect summer’s day on a beach in the Cyclades to see a


      shooting star flare across the limpid blue sky. You have to put up with being eaten alive overnight by mosquitoes for that privilege, of course!

      Memories are one thing, but food that you decided to bring home seems to go off en route. Equally, local wines and spirits don’t seem to have quite the magic they had either. One case in point is the Greek standby; Metaxa. If you have ever been to Greece, you will know what I mean. It is in every taverna. It is sold in various grades of quality. Well, that is the theory. I have to disagree, however. I have sampled the cheapest Metaxa and the most expensive. I have sat with Greeks and drunk their strong, black coffee and water. They are a very hospitable people and they will offer ...


      • you a glass of ouzo, their aniseed-flavoured spirit. However, as the evening wears on, they will be more likely to offer you Greek brandy. Now, Greek brandy, rather like Spanish and other nations’ brandies, is quite different from French cognac. If you drink Metaxa and expect a sort of cognac, you’re in for a surprise. It’s quite different. It is a spirit and may well be made with the same sort of ingredients – namely grapes. However, somewhere along the way, it undergoes a change which makes it quite, quite different. It seems not to have the same heart-warming effect that French brandy has. It is alcohol; of that there is no doubt. However, it may have some herbs in it that make the flavour quite different. I know that my tastes differ from friends
        who simply adore Greek food (I don’t like it at all) and this may be a similar instance. To me, Metaxa is awful. The cheaper stuff (two star) is miles better than the top grade (5 star, if memory serves). It has a sickliness to it that you would never encounter with cognac (or Armagnac either). Rather than settling an unsettled tummy, it exacerbates it. If you want to try it, do, by all means. It won’t kill you, but if you don’t like it, try something else that’s Greek – raki. It’s almost pure alcohol and, rather like grappa, it’s clear. If Metaxa has put a damper on your evening, change drinks to raki (the emphasis is on the ‘i’ at the end, so it’s rah-KI) - it’ll put roses in your cheeks and perk you up!




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in January, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 271101949031231/k2311a0111/1.11.10
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