Unless you’re from or have visited Greece, or you’re a connoisseur of various aperitifs, Ouzo cocktails may not be something you’ve tried.
If that’s the case, you need to remedy that STAT. Cocktails made with Ouzo are typically strong, both in alcohol content and taste, and heavily anise-flavored.
Because they have a dry, licorice-like taste, Ouzo cocktails are some of those drinks that you either hate or love, but as always, I encourage you to give them a try before deciding.
Ouzo is a clear, transparent liquid, so the cocktails you make with it can have a wide range of colors.
In other words, you won’t know an Ouzo cocktail simply by looking at it.
They do, however, have distinctly floral-like aromas and genuinely unique, rich tastes. Here are 10 of my favorites.
1. Greek Ouzo Cocktail with Lemon
This simple, three-ingredient drink takes nearly no time to make.
Start by filling your glass with fresh lemon juice.
Then, top it with about half an ounce to an ounce of Ouzo. (Remember, it’s strong stuff; a little goes a long way.)
Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and add ice to keep the drink cool.
As the author of the recipe mentions, you can even add a dash of oregano for a bright burst of extra flavor.
2. Roaring Greek Tiger
This traditional Greek drink is even simpler to make than the last! Simply combine one part Ouzo to four parts orange juice.
Add the combo to a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
The drink is bright and tangy, and you can make it even more so by squeezing a bit of lime juice into it once you’ve strained it into the glass.
Stick a lime twist in the drink as a garnish (if you want), and you’re good to go.
The fresh, zesty flavor is a great palette cleanser, making it the perfect cocktail to serve before dinner.
3. Bold Greek Coffee Cocktail
If you’re the kind of person who likes a bit of caffeine with your alcohol, this coffee cocktail is an excellent choice for you.
It’s called the “bold Greek,” and that name couldn’t be more fitting.
Everything about this drink is unbelievably robust and rich. The dark anise flavor of the Ouzo complements the coffee’s bitterness flawlessly.
On top of that already powerful combination, you’ll add a simple syrup made from fennel seeds!
As you can imagine, you can smell this beverage from across the room, and the delightfully unique taste will stay with you for hours afterward.
4. Greek Revolution Shooter
The Greek revolution shooter is somewhere between a cocktail and a straight shot.
Since Ouzo is so strong, it’s not uncommon for people to drink it in smaller doses.
This particular shooter combines Ouzo, grenadine, and Galliano, an Italian liqueur that also tastes strongly of anise.
The result is one bright red, potent (double or triple) shot of black licorice flavor and alcohol.
It’s not for the faint of heart, but it will have you feeling great in just a few minutes.
5. Mediterranean Sunset
Like most Ouzo cocktails, the Mediterranean sunset requires few ingredients. All you’ll need to make it is Ouzo, grapefruit juice, and grenadine.
You can substitute lemonade for the grapefruit juice if you prefer a sweeter, tarter flavor. The grapefruit juice makes the drink slightly bitter.
Mix everything in a shaker with ice, pour it into a nice glass, and enjoy!
6. Greek Doctor Cocktail
When I was younger, my aunt made a drink that she called an orange-lemon vodka collins. To me, that’s what this drink tastes like, only with Ouzo.
It retains its tartness and tanginess, but the Ouzo adds a rich vanilla and anise flavor that almost makes the drink taste like it’s spiced.
It takes 5 minutes to make and uses only four ingredients. It has a lovely yellow-orange color that’s halfway between lemonade and orange juice.
Some of my friends serve it for brunch in place of mimosas, but I prefer to save it until after dinner.
The deep flavor of the Ouzo is too heavy for brunch, in my opinion.
7. Raspberry Ouzo Slush
Of all the Ouzo cocktails on this list, the raspberry Ouzo slush is my favorite.
To make it, you’ll need frozen raspberries, nectarines, Ouzo, lemon water, and a couple of lemongrass sprigs.
It’s a sweeter, fruitier, less artificial sugary Slush Puppie for adults.
You guys remember Slush Puppies, right? They were ICEEs before ICEEs were a thing.
It has a wonderful tartness to it, as well, but the Ouzo smooths out the sourest edges, making this one fantastic slushie… with a kick, of course!
After all, what good is being an adult if you can’t enjoy a bit of alcohol with your favorite summer treat?!
8. Greek Jelly Bean Cocktail
I love the vibrant blue color you get from adding blue curacao to a drink, but sometimes I’m in the mood for something less tart.
Traditionally, most blue curacao drinks are either tropical or sour.
That’s not the case with this one. It gives you the rich sweetness of the Ouzo but retains the brilliant blue hue of blue curacao.
You’ll use lemonade, too, so it isn’t overly sweet.
9. Tko Shooter
At a glance, this shooter almost looks like a tall glass of beer. And in some ways, it also tastes a bit like a dark lager.
You’ll make it with tequila, Kahlua, and Ouzo, and it is sweet, rich, and as close to decadent as a drink usually gets without adding all the extra whipped cream, caramel, and chocolate sauce.
It takes 5 minutes to make and tastes best when served cold.
10. Ouzo Martini
Even though the Ouzo martini uses more ingredients than any other Ouzo cocktail on the list.
It calls for orange juice, pineapple juice, Ouzo, vodka, fresh lime juice, lime slices, and ice, yet it still takes only 5 minutes to make.
It’s bright yellow, frosty and cold, and has a wonderfully tangy and tropical flavor.
Like most martinis, it’s strong, and it’s meant to be sipped, not chugged.
So go easy with it. Otherwise, you may get drunker than you meant to get, not to mention the possibility of brain freeze.
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