With its distinctive anise flavor, ouzo is certainly an acquired taste. But our Greek roots mean we have a special place for ouzo in our cocktail repertoire, and we couldn’t resist sharing a refreshing pairing that will convert many an ouzo skeptic.
Simply infuse the ouzo with lemon, prepare a mint simple syrup (much like the one we use in some of our house-made juices), and finish the package with a shaker of turbinado sugar for rimming cocktail glasses. —CAVA
200-mL bottle Ouzo
lemon, with top layer of peel carefully tested into long strips
large sprigs fresh mint
lemon slices and mint for garnish
turbinado sugar for rimming
In This Recipe
For cocktail: Measure 1 shot of ouzo into a cocktail shaker. Add 1 shot of mint simple syrup and 6 ounces club soda. Add ice and shake until combined. To rim your glass, dip the top of it into your mint simple syrup, and carefully place in a shallow plate of turbinado sugar. Carefully pour cocktail into rimmed highball glass and garnish with a lemon slice and sprig of fresh mint.
FYI: The cocktail will turn a milky-white color when shaken. This is because anethole, the essential oil of anise, is completely soluble in alcohol at approximately 38% ABV and above, but not in water. Who knew?!
ProTip: Citrus is a great infusion option for a variety of alcohols — try blood orange with vodka or grapefruit with tequila.