Hailing from the small Greek island of Chios, Mastiha liqueur is a Mediterranean tradition that dates back to the ancient world. Hippocrates (500 BCE), the father of medicine, used to mix it with honey to cure stomach pains and fight sickness. Dioscurides (100 BCE), doctor and herbalist, used Mastiha to aid digestion, strengthen gums and whiten teeth. As Mastiha spread throughout the Mediterranean, Roman emperors used it to spice their wine and the harem women of Turkish sultans chewed it to freshen their breath.
While Skinos certainly does not claim to heal what ails
you, it's definitely a unique spirit that is one of the fastest growing
alcoholic beverages in the Mediterranean.
To create Skinos Mastiha Liqueur, the Mastiha tree is harvested for its resin once per
year in the months of June and July. Small cuts are made in the tree
bark which releases small amounts of resin that are collected over ten
to twenty days. One Mastiha tree usually produces a humble annual
production of eighty to two hundred grams of resin - not a particularly
large amount, especially considering that each bottle of Skinos contains
six to seven grams of Mastiha! The Mastiha crystals are then
transported to the village in wooden casks, where the women of the
village carefully select and hand-clean the highest quality Mastiha. The
crystals are then mixed with alcohol, allowed to infuse for at least
three months, then delicately distilled in copper pot stills. After
distillation, sugar, alcohol and mineral water are added, then the
finished spirit is bottled in quality glass from Limoges, France.
result is delicately sweet, impeccably balanced spirit with distinctive
notes of cucumber, pine, anise and fresh herbs. Its unique flavor
profile earned Skinos the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits
Awards in 2011.
Skinos can be served neat, chilled, as an aperitif or digestif, or incorporated into cocktails as well as food.
1 1/3 oz Skinos
2/3 oz premium gin
1/3 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1/4 cucumber (without skin & seeds)
cucumber in base of shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake
with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a thin
slice of cucumber.
Cheers from DrinkUpNY!