Lesvos has a long tradition in the ouzo production. The island is endowed with fertile land and a big variety of plants and herbs. This, combined with the geographical position of Lesvos, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, helped the local producers to produce and market ouzo of excellent quality. Lesvos is blessed with fields of anise, or otherwise known as aniseed, in the region of Lisvori which is used as one of the main aromatic ingredients used to make ouzo!
Ouzo production began to flourish on Lesvos in the 19th century as at that time the port of Mitilini was a big transit centre with booming export commerce, from where large quantities of ouzo were exported to Istanbul. After 1880 the distilleries operating on the island were reaching 18 in number, while in the official catalogues of the state for the period 1917-1918 there are 17 distilleries recorded. The origin of the ouzo making culture is traced back to the Greek migrants and refugees who settled in Greece coming either from the Black Sea region or the Asia Minor coast. Traditionally the ouzo of Lesvos is a product of distillation of agricultural alcohol enriched with aniseed and fragrant plant seeds, with each distillery having its own recipe passed down orally from generation to generation. At the moment there are two PDO and PGI certifications, one of them titled ‘Mitilinian Ouzo’, which covers all certified ouzo produced on the island, and the other one with the title ‘Plomari Ouzo’ which covers all ouzo produced in Plomari and its neighbouring villages. The population of Plomari, consisting of cosmopolitan seamen and traders, were a wealthy class who enjoyed the pleasures of life. The scented drink matched perfectly with their adventurous character and helped them travel with their minds to faraway places even when their ships were anchored. They were the ones who started the trade and exports of ouzo. Obviously, exactly because of the wide spread of ouzo in the daily life of Lesvos, a big part of the local gastronomy is based on the combination of ouzo with local dishes
Don’t miss the Ouzo Fest, organised annually by the Lesvos Association of Distillers. It is a unique festival of ouzo tasting, where visitors have the chance to taste more than 40 ouzo labels, meet the distillers, taste the gastronomy of Lesvos, discover the secrets of ouzo and enjoy it the traditional way. https://www.ouzofest.gr/index.php?new_lang=en
The welcometolesvos.com site is the official tourism website of the Public Entity of Culture, Tourism & Sports of the Municipality of Western Lesvos and aims to provide valuable information regarding the historical, cultural and tourist attractions of Lesvos island, its natural environment, activities, events and much more!