Anise-flavoured aperitifs are adored across the Mediterranean, and in Greece ouzo reigns supreme. More than a shot or sipable spirit, ouzo delivers big returns in fried chicken, flambé saganaki and boozy 'Hellenic Mess'.
5 Oct 2018 - 9:19 AM  UPDATED 10 Jan 2019 - 2:37 PM

1. Swap ‘hot mess’ for ‘Hellenic mess’

Taking the classic Eton mess to new, Greek heights, this trifle-like dessert combines meringue and vanilla cream with orange blossom jelly and ouzo-spiked strawberry sauce.  Serve this at your next dinner party for maximum effect.

2. GFC: Greek Fried Chicken 

Forget Korean fried chicken or the Southern American style, kotopoulo tiganito or Greek fried chicken is a flavour explosion like no other. Unlike its poultry peers, this recipe calls for the chicken to be marinated in a garlicky, zesty, ouzo-y marinade, and flavoured with fragrant herbs such coriander, juniper berries and bay leaves, before being fried. Serve with lemon wedges, fried oregano sprigs and, if you’re game, a shot or two of ouzo.

3. Flex your mussels

More than a slab of fried cheese, saganaki actually translates to “little frying pan” and refers to any number of Greek dishes cooked in such a vestibule. Here, mussels are bathed in a rich, ouzo-scented tomato sauce, then sprinkled with herbs and feta. It’s a more-ish meze that pairs wonderfully with a crusty loaf of bread.

4. FroYo with a twist

At Sydney restaurant Apollo, chef Stefano Marano serves up caramelised pineapple cooked in our ol’ friend ouzo, alongside milk crumb, yoghurt parfait, white chocolate and mascarpone. Creamy, textural and with a fresh pineapple zing, this dessert is destined to impress.

5. This cheese is on fire

Chargrilled seafood and fried saganaki are two quintessential dishes you’ll find at coastal tavernas across Greece. Here, the baby calamari is marinated in olive oil, garlic, Greek oregano (rigani) and lemon juice, before being grilled. The saganaki, meanwhile, is an ouzo-spiked flambé of kefalograviera, a hard, salty, Greek sheep’s-milk cheese. Serve with a classic Greek salad for major holiday vibes.

Chargrilled baby calamari with fried saganaki.

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