20 Traditional Greek Drinks, Wine And Cocktails To Try 

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The drinks of Greece are not just beverages, they’re an adventure, a cultural immersion you can taste. When in Greece, do as the Greeks do. Sit back, raise a glass, and let these traditional Greek drinks and cocktails transport you to that sunny island in the Aegean where the sea is blue, the sun is warm, and life is good. 

What Is Special About Greek Drinks?

The culture surrounding Greek drinks is rich in history and flavor. From traditional options like the Ouzo and non-alcoholic Ayran to the plethora of Greek wines available, you will find something for different palates. 

Many of the beverages have also been prepared by locals for hundreds if not thousands of years. Greek beer is a perfect example of tradition meeting modern techniques, and the results are pure bliss!

If you’re interested in exploring Greek alcohol and the drinks of Greece, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive into the wonderful world of traditional Greek drinks!

Greek Drinks: The Best Greek Liqueur

Ouzo Drink


Ouzo, also known as anise wine, is an anise-flavored liqueur made from grape and water and one of the best examples of a much-loved choice of Greek drinks. It is a popular Greek specialty that originated in the early 19th century after the independence of Greece. 

The name Ouzo comes from the Greek word meaning “to smell”, and is made from grape, water, and anise. It is also known as Greek raki in some regions. It is often mixed with other herbs, such as coriander and fennel. If you like anise, then you will love this Greek alcohol.

Ouzo was first produced in 1856, in the region of Thessaly in Greece. Today, there are more than 300 Ouzo brands produced in Greece, with each brand having its unique recipe. The Ouzo drink now has a protected status in the European Union and can only be produced in Greece and in the Greek part of Cyprus, where Lezbos is the main Ouzo production center.



Tsipouro was first made by Greek Orthodox monks in Mount Athos in the 14th century. Today, it is one of the most popular Greek drinks and liqueurs produced in various regions across the country. Similar to Ouzo, the strong liqueur is made from the grape pomace that is left over from the wine-making process.

This Greek alcohol is traditionally served immediately after being taken out of the freezer and pairs well with different Greek food. While some establishments may dilute the beverage by adding water or ice, it is generally preferred to be consumed neat. 

The local population often opts for traditional European dishes such as fish, meats, halva, or meze to accompany this beverage.

Kumquat Liqueur


Kumquat, a fruit originating in China, is native to Corfu and is one of the island’s primary crops. It was introduced to Corfu in the year 1860 by an agronomist from the United Kingdom, but it was only in the 1960s that kumquat was incorporated into liqueur production. Since then, Kumquat Liqueur has become one of the best Greek drinks.

Kumquat comes in two flavors: red kumquat and white kumquat. Red kumquat is the sweetest kumquat version, made from the skins of kumquats, and white is the more bitter kumquat-based Greek alcohol.


Kitron is a Greek liqueur and a highly-sought after choice of Greek drinks. They can also only be produced in Greece, as it is one of the three Greek-made liqueurs available on the market with a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin). The PDO ensures that the Kitron liqueur is produced in Greece, specifically on Naxos Island.

This famous Greek alcohol is made from citron fruit and citron leaves. Citrons are very similar to lemons, but they have a much stronger and more intense taste. Although Kitron became popular in the early-to-mid 1980s, it is difficult to find outside of the Naxos region. This is because citron, the main ingredient in the drink, is very rare.

Citron leaves are harvested at the end of autumn or the start of winter when they’re at their best. The leaves are then mixed with water and alcohol, and distilled up to 3 times. 

Kitron comes in three flavors: green, yellow, and clear. The green flavor is sweeter and lower in alcohol, while the yellow flavor is the strongest and has the lowest sugar content. Clear Kitron is somewhere in between and is often used to make different Greek cocktails.


Tentura is a Greek alcohol that has been blended with various herbs and spices to create a unique taste. It has been a popular drink for many years and is one of the most popular Greek drinks.

The name ‘Tentura’ is derived from the Italian word ‘tincture’. It originates from Patras, the third largest city in Greece. This popular Greek alcohol dates back to the 1500s.

It is traditionally served on ice at room temperature. The most common alcoholic base for this liqueur is Brandy, although it can also be made with grain alcohol or rum – and the end result is one of the best Greek liquors on the market.

Greek Drinks: The Best Traditional Spirits And Greek Beer


Mastika is one of the most popular Greek drinks on the island of Chios. It’s made from mastic resin, which gives it its unique herbal-pine taste. It’s usually served straight after you eat, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also pair it with some Prosecco for a great aperitif.

Mastika has been produced on the southern part of the island of Chios since ancient times and has remained a favorite choice of Greek alcohol. In ancient times, many people believed that it could improve digestion and reduce stomach ulcers. Today, these properties are the main reasons for its success.

Greek Beer


The Greek beer scene is a paradise for beer aficionados, with more than 70 different traditional beers to choose from. If you’re not sure where to begin, Fix and Mythos are two of the best, as well as one of the most popular brands.

The first Greek brewery was founded in 1864. Since then, more and more breweries have opened in response to the growing demand for Greek beer, both locally and worldwide.

Hops and barley have been imported into Greece until recently, but many breweries have started growing their crops to produce their Greek beer. Some breweries have even won international accolades for their beers.


Made on the island of Crete, Greece’s biggest and most populated island, it’s a traditional Cretan wine and spirit and one of the most popular Greek drinks. 

It’s a grape-based spirit made from the fermented pomace (the remains of grapes used for winemaking) of grapes. The pomace is fermented for 6 weeks in tiny copper stills before being distilled. This process usually takes place from October to November.

The result is a clear and aromatic drink. It is served after dinner with various fruits and traditional Greek food and goes especially well with certain famous Greek street food. 

The local people keep the bottles in the freezer and serve them cold. Because Tsikoudia is often made at home in the communities surrounding Crete, the amount of alcohol in the drink varies. In each Cretan village, only one or two families are allowed to produce Tsikoudia.


Metaxa, which means “silk” in Greek, was first made in 1888 and is considered one of the smoothest and softest liqueurs on the planet. This is certainly one of the best examples of Greek drinks that locals are proud of.

Metaxa is characterized by its strong flavor and aroma, which is derived from the combination of an aged Muscat White Wine from the Isle of Samos with Mediterranean herbs and aged in wooden casks. Metaxa is not just a perfect showcase of the range of drinks of Greece, it’s enjoyed all over the world, in over 50 countries!


This traditional Greek blend of alcoholic beverages is not only renowned in Crete as a digestif/aperitif – but also throughout mainland Greece and other Aegean islands – and thus, one of the most enjoyed drinks of Greece. It is produced by several large-scale distilleries across mainland Greece.

Rakomelo is made from Tsikoudia and honey, as well as other locally sourced herbs and spices. Traditionally, it was used by Ancient Greeks as a tonic for a sore throat, but today it is a popular Greek alcohol enjoyed all over the Aegean Sea islands.

While Rakomelo can be enjoyed anywhere in Greece, if you’re looking for the top Rakomelo, you can’t go wrong with Cretan-style Rakomelo.

Drinks Of Greece: The Best Greek Wine


Vinsanto is one of the most popular Greek drinks to add to your list of things to try in Santorini. Santorini is Greece’s most popular island and also home to a national dessert wine, Vinsanto.

The production of Vinsanto is a long-standing tradition on the island, dating back thousands of years, and some have even referred to it as a key component of the island’s cultural heritage. The grapes used to make Vinsanto are sourced from the region’s fertile soil and other characteristics, which contribute to the unique flavor profile of this much-loved Greek alcohol.



Retsina is one of the most renowned Greek wines, competing with Vinsanto for the title. It is significantly more cost-effective than its more renowned counterpart, Vinsanto. Despite its cost-effectiveness, wines from Retsina are still of high quality, because producers and wine-makers are striving to produce quality wines to compete on a global stage.

Retsina is a wine that’s been around for over 2,000 years. Even though it’s been around for so long, it’s still one of Greece’s most popular wines. It’s made in lots of different places around this beautiful country and often pairs well with sweet Greek desserts.

This wine has a piney, resin-like flavor. The resin is made from pine trees and was originally used to seal and protect wine in clay vats. But it was also used by the locals to keep their wines from drying out. Now, the taste is so well-loved the same process is used so that the results are still the same.



Greece is home to a variety of red wine and one of the most sought-after Greek drinks is the agiorgitiko. This wine is well-suited for pairing with a variety of dishes, such as lamb, pasta, and meaty stews.

It is cultivated in various regions of the country, including the Nemea region, where the origin of the grape is located.

In the Nemea region, Assyrtiko is often made into rosé and red wine that is aged in oak. These drinks of Greece are characterized by their fruitiness, spiciness, beautiful color, and low acidity.



Assyrtiko White Wine is a popular Greek wine that is widely produced in the Aegean islands, particularly Santorini. It features a unique citrus flavor.

Assyrtiko white wine is a Greek wine grape variety grown in the volcanic soil of Santorini on the island of Greece. Although the name Assyrtiko is used to describe the wine grape, it can also refer to the famous dry, rich, and full-bodied white Assyrtiko wines.

Because the Assyrtiko grape is cultivated in rich volcanic soil, this helps to preserve the acidity of the grapes as they ripen. The result is full-bodied, fruity, and mineral-rich Greek alcohol.

The Most Popular Non-Alcoholic Greek Drinks



Ellinikos, also known as Greek coffee, is one of the most popular beverages. It’s often referred to as “Greek coffee” because of the way it’s made. The traditional way to make Ellinikos is with a briki pot, also known as cezve, which is a Greek coffee pot. The coffee beans are ground, and then the water is boiled until frothy on low heat.

But just like all drinks of Greece, there’s no set-in-stone method when it comes to making Ellinikos.

Espresso Freddo

The Espresso Freddo originated in Greece in the early 1990s, following the success of the Frappe, which was created in the 1950s. Espresso Freddo has evolved but remains one of the most popular morning beverages and non-alcoholic Greek drinks.

Espresso and ice: That’s it! As one of the most widespread Greek drinks, it’s also one of the most simple. It’s easy to assume that this lovely coffee requires milk based on how it looks, but that is a common misconception. All you have to do is give your drink a good shake and the frothy goodness will show its foamy face!



Ayran is one of the widely-loved Greek drinks that is often served with your food when you want to enjoy a beverage without alcohol. Although Ayran is Turkish in origin, it is very prevalent in Greece and Southeastern Europe.

The main ingredients in Ayran are Sour Sheep Yogurt, salt, and water, but you can add mint or other herbs if you want. This Greek yogurt drink is usually served cold as a side dish, but it’s a great drink for any time of day and is popular during Greek breakfast and lunch.


Visinada is non-alcoholic and one of the best examples of Greek drinks that are served on Athens beaches and across the country. It is made by combining sour cherry juice with sugar and boiling it until it forms a syrup, thick and a beautiful purple hue.

When it comes to the drinks of Greece, Visinada is the way to go! It’s packed with vitamin C, so it’s one of the best quenchers you can get in Greece. It’s easy to find in cafes and fast food places, and you can even get it in bottles at beachside cafes.

Tsai Tou Vounou

Tsai Tou Vounou isn’t based on tea leaves at all, despite its name “Mountain Tea”. It’s one of the drinks of Greece made with Sideritis, also known as ironwort, a plant native to the Greek mountains.

Mountain tea is rich in iron, antioxidants, and other natural elements that are incredibly good for you. Drinking mountain tea daily can help improve your immune system, as well as reduce anxiety/stress – and many other fantastic benefits contained in the famous and healthy choice of Greek drinks.

This natural, caffeine-free, and floral-flavored beverage is ideal for any time of day and is an ideal remedy for cold or flu symptoms.


Soumada is one of the most loved Greek drinks. Originating on Crete, the beverage is traditionally prepared by mixing almonds with sugar and water. In some cases, the beverage may be flavored with almond extract or a bitter almond essence, depending on the region.

It has a long history, dating back to 1394 at the Krakow Congress when Cyprus’ King Peter II introduced it to Casimir the Great, King of Poland. When it comes to the drinks of Greece, Summada is now a traditional wedding and engagement and is often served as a traditional welcome gift on Nisyros Island and Chios.

Greek Drinks: A Rich Culture Of Long-Standing History

As you can most likely see, Greek drinks are filled not just with a delightful flavor, but rich and far-reaching history that makes for fascinating stories. 

From Greek wine and spirits to tantalizing Greek cocktails, the vibrant drink culture will never leave you thirsty. So, the next time you find yourself in this beautiful country, don’t forget to indulge in these fantastic beverages and truly immerse yourself in the spirited essence of Greece. Cheers, or as the Greeks say, “Yamas!”



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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