LESVOS – Barbayannis Liquor Distiller has been producing 100% distilled ouzo in Greece following the same procedure since 1860, resulting in ouzo exclusively flavored by aniseed and other aromatic herbs. Barbayannis is faithfully maintaining the traditional method of making their unique ouzo.
Efstathios J. Barbayannis arrived in Plomari, Lesvos, in 1860, bringing with him knowledge and experience of the distillation processes from the city of Odessa.
At that time in Plomari, industrial production was on the increase and international trade was booming. The great mentor of the Greek Nation, Benjamin of Lesvos, along with the other members of the Filiki Eteria, had begun to lay the foundations of Modern Greece in the Aegean Islands. The port of Lesvos was always busy and many products were being shipped from the island all around the world.
Lesvos has always been a fertile island with an excellent climate providing a superior variety of anise, the seed that is the basic flavoring ingredient of ouzo. Many other kinds of sweet-smelling herbs also grow on this land, contributing to the particular scent of ouzo, a fragrance that is characteristic of Greece.
It is on Lesvos that Efstathios Barbayannis first distilled and produced his excellent-quality ouzo liquor, which is known as Ouzo Barbayanni Blue. Since then, five generations of the Barbayannis family have followed in the footsteps of Efstathios Barbayannis.
They are faithful keepers of the traditional method of manufacturing their unique Greek ouzo liquor, carefully selecting all-natural ingredients and giving special care to the old ouzo distillation procedure.
The selection of aniseed is of great importance for the production of good ouzo. When the plant is fully ripe, it is harvested, tied up in small sheaves, and dried carefully in the shade so that its green color does not fade.
The next step is ‘drimonisma’, during which the plant’s seed is carefully separated from the stems. This is done by hand on a tiled plate of marble. The aniseed is then carefully stored in pouches made of plant fibers, with all necessary precautions taken against humidity.
Alcohol, which constitutes the basis for the production of ouzo, is tested twice. First, when it is delivered and then immediately before it is used for distillation. It is 100% pure ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin.
The mixture is poured into special alembics (distillation cauldrons) and is distilled three times, with no sudden rises or drops of temperature. From the first part of the distillation process, only the ‘heart’, meaning the middle fraction of distillation, is retained. This is then used for the second and third distillation procedures, which are carried out at a slow pace, under constant supervision and testing.
The ‘adoloto’, which is the term for the middle fraction of the last process of distillation, is the perfect essence of the procedure’s last stage, ‘ripening’. It is then stored in large stainless-steel tanks to settle, so that the ingredients can ‘bond’ until homogeneity of the mixture is achieved.
Before the essence is bottled, it is slowly mixed with crystal-clear water from the mountains of Plomari, Lesvos. This water has excellent properties and the appropriate content of salts and minerals.
The result of this traditional distillation process is a 100% extract, which provides Ouzo Barbayanni Liquor Distiller its uniqueness. (A content of only 20% extract is required by law). This distillation, which produces 100% extract, is adhered to for all five types of Ouzo Barbayanni, enjoyed today by admirers of this fine Greek liquor in Europe, America, Australia, and New Zealand.
OUZO BARBAYANNI BLUE is a classic ouzo, first produced in 1860 and consisting of a 100% pure aniseed extract and sweet-smelling herbs, with an alcohol content of 46% by Volume.
OUZO BARBAYANNI GREEN is an ouzo with a unique, soft taste, 100% pure extract, produced with an alcohol content of 42% Vol.
OUZO BARBAYANNI APHRODITE is an ouzo with a dry, mature taste, a 100% pure extract of excellent quality, produced with an alcohol content of 48% Vol.
OUZO BARBAYANNI EVZON is a traditional aperitif, first produced in 1950, with a dominant aniseed scent and an alcohol content of 47% Vol.
BARBAYANNI COLLECTIBLE OUZO is an excellent quality ouzo distilled to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Barbayannis Distilleries foundation. It amazes ouzo aficionados with its ripe body and pleasant after-taste. This 100% distilled ouzo has an alcohol content of 46% Vol.
More information is available online: https://www.barbayanni-ouzo.com/index.html.
Visit the treasure of Plomari, the Ouzo Barbayanni Museum, and learn everything about the 160-year tradition of the family in the production of ouzo.
The Ouzo Barbayannis family has been passionately pursuing perfection in the taste of Greek ouzo and preserving the traditional distillation techniques for five generations. As a result, the Barbayannis name is identified throughout the world for its prime Greek ouzo, the finest Greek liquor.
Today, in the picturesque settlement of Plomari, Lesvos, technology harmoniously co-exists with history and tradition. The Ouzo Liquor Museum was founded to express the love and passion the Barbayannis family has for the production of ouzo.
The Ouzo Liquor Museum is located next to the modern, privately-owned distilleries of the Barbayannis ouzo production facilities. In the ouzo liquor museum visitors can see the original equipment used to bottle and label the famous Ouzo Barbayanni Blue, as well as the first alembic, constructed in 1858 in Constantinople, used for testing century-old secrets and techniques, and to compose the recipes of the Barbayannis family. The Ouzo Liquor Museum respectfully embraces tradition and is the home of the secret of the quality and taste found in Greek Ouzo Barbayanni.
The Barbayannis Ouzo Museum includes a visitors’ center and a gift shop. Audio-Visual shows are conducted in English and Greek. Wine-tasting tours are provided.