Ouzo 12 is the bestselling brand of ouzo in the world. The brand was born in Constantinople, Turkey in 1880, moving to Thessaloniki, Greece in 1925. Ouzo 12 has managed to keep to its original recipe throughout the years that have passed since. This traditional ouzo is made using a neutral grape base alcohol which is twice distilled with anise and other specially selected spices. It also has the honour of being the first ouzo ever bottled.
The Kaloyiannis Distillery was located in Constantinople, Turkey, which is now known as Istanbul. Among the spirits offered to its guests was ouzo. The preferred ouzo always came from the mix in “Barrel Number 12”. The recipe for Barrel 12 became the house style for ouzo and the number 12 made it into the name of the product that is now known around the world as Ouzo 12.
The Kaloyiannis family ended up moving to Thessaloniki, Greece in 1925, taking with them their recipe for Ouzo 12. It is no surprise that this recipe quickly became popular in Greece as well. The brand became part of the Gruppo Campari portfolio of products in 1999. It is distributed internationally, with the biggest markets in Germany and Greece.
The range of products from Ouzo 12 begins and ends with the marvellous Ouzo 12 itself. Remaining faithful to the original recipe from Barrel Number 12 that made it so popular on creation, this traditional Greek aniseed-based spirit is crystal clear in the bottle. When water is added, the spirit turns a lovely milky-white. The unmatchable flavour of fresh fennel, anise, and liquorice makes Ouzo 12 a winning combination.
Other Relevant Information
Ouzo is the national drink of Greece and also its most popular. Traditionally, ouzo is enjoyed with food, especially with mezedhes, the Greek equivalent of the Spanish tapa. These small delicious plates of food are meant to be shared and are perfect to enjoy alongside a glass of ouzo, only to be improved by the addition of good conversation.
Ouzo 12 can be enjoyed neat or cold. This is a drink that is meant to be savoured. Do not store your ouzo in the refrigerator. It is better to mix it with very cold water. This will cause the ouzo to change colour, so be prepared! You can also pour it over ice if you wish, but this can cause crystals to form on the surface of your drink. To take advantage of its beautiful anise flavour, Ouzo 12 can be used in a number of inventive cocktail recipes and also in cooking.