Tarpon Springs Distillery Makes Real Greek Ouzo


(Photo by Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari, file)

With the highest concentration of Greek-Americans in the United States, Tarpon Springs, Florida now has a distillery bringing ouzo distilled the traditional way in the heart of the community, drawing great reviews.

Tarpon Springs Distillery is the work of Barry and Lisa Butler, said Suncoast News, operating out of a renovated warehouse, producing Papou's Ouzo as well as Gramling Woods Rye Moonshine and Anclote Gin.

It takes a big nod to the Greek spongedivers who made the little city what it is, using decor featuring sponges and diving helmets and to honor the history.

“The Greek heritage, the sponge diving industry. There’s nothing like it,” Lisa Butler told the paper. “It was really important to us to play that up.”

Papou's Ouzo was named for Stephen Katzaras, who came to Tarpon Springs at age 17 from Symi, Greece. He ran a sponge company for six decades.

The couple found a recipe from Lesbos, the island that made ouzo famous and Barry Butler said their product is genuine. “The ouzo turns white under cool temperatures,” he said, adding, “and it gets more flavorful as it sits on ice,” he said. Opa!