Ouzo: Day 9

I love ouzo.  I don’t drink it often, and usually only in Greece.

Today it’s a blizzard outside.  I’m making ham and beans for dinner.  At 1 p.m. I’m raising a glass with Cruzanne who is in Antioch, Illinois.  We made my first trip to Greece together.

I drink my ouzo cold, two shots over ice and add water.  I decided to look online and see what information I could find about ouzo.

Wikipedia: Ouzo is often referred to as a particularly strong drink, although its alcohol content is not especially high compared to other liquor. The reason mainly has to do with its sugar content. Sugar delays ethanol absorption in the stomach, and may thus mislead the drinker into thinking that they can drink more as they do not feel tipsy early on. Then the cumulative effect of ethanol appears and the drinker becomes inebriated rather quickly. This is why it is generally considered poor form to drink ouzo “dry hammer” (“ξεροσφύρι”, xerosfýri, an idiomatic expression that means “drinking alcohol without eating anything”) in Greece. The presence of food, especially fats or oils, in the upper digestive system prolongs the absorption of ethanol and ameliorates alcohol intoxication.

Matt Barrett, who I love love love, wrote this about a young man who was drinking ouzo: The finest singer of them all was a young carpenter and stone mason named Panayotis who every so often when he was really filled with kefi (ouzo) would leap to his feet to dance. Not for us, not for his friends or anyone else in the cafeneon (which was empty except for us), but for himself. He was lost in the music, the moment and the movement. He was expressing himself to himself and we were blessed to be witnesses. It was really very spiritual, like watching lovers, or a holy man talking to God and realizing that God is indeed listening. read the whole story at

I’m posting 30 days of pictures and delving into the picture and pulling out what I feel is part of my story, ethos, feelings, virtue, goals, character and so on.  So it’s not ouzo that is really the deal here — it’s the stories that come with it.  The camaraderie with my friend, the longing to go back to Greece, the treasured feelings that memories bring.