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.
Lemon-Infused Ouzo Mint Spritzer
1 200-mL bottle Ouzo
1 lemon, with top layer of peel carefully tested into long strips
Mint Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 large sprigs fresh mint
turbinado sugar for rimming
lemon slices and mint for garnish
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.