What comes to your mind when you think of Cyprus spirits? Friends around a taverna table raising a glass to their get-together, seniors killing time over a shot of Zivania at the kafeneio, a young couple at a bar enjoying their signature cocktails made with Cyprus spirits. Our alcoholic beverages are deeply embedded in our culture and are always present, in good times and in bad times.
Craft distilleries have mushroomed on the island in recent years producing small-batch spirits that ignite the natural flavors and the essence of Cyprus. The precious local ingredients form a distinctive blend, which is a unique expression of the heart and soul of the Cyprus countryside and mountains. Gins made from local botanicals such as Juniper berries or Vodka made from locally grown potatoes are only a few of the spirits that everyone has to try either on the rocks or in a cocktail.
Cyprus brandy was first distilled on the island in 1871 and is made from fermented grapes of Xynisteri. Our brandy goes through a double distillation of Xynisteri white wines that age in oak barrels. Its low alcohol concentration (32%) differentiates it from other European varieties. Cyprus brandy has a distinctly sweet aftertaste. Needless to say, you have to try our national cocktail, the famed brandy sour: a cocktail with Cyprus brandy and lemon flavorings.
Last but not least, zivania is our “firewater”, made from zivana (grape pomace). Read the article Zivania – A legendary spirit to find out about its features and production.
And always remember: Drink and enjoy alcohol moderately and responsibly.