Cypriots look beyond Brandy Sour for next cocktail

Tue Feb 8, 2011 2:31pm EST
 
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By Michele Kambas

NICOSIA (Reuters Life!) - Step aside Brandy Sour. The tiny island which gave the world booze disguised as "iced tea" and got away with it has a new cocktail with an ancient twist designed to tickle the most discerning taste buds.

Home to the world's oldest wine that is still in production, Cyprus's last offering to the world of "mixology" was Brandy Sour -- an alcoholic drink designed to look like iced tea that was invented for Egypt's holidaying King Farouk in the 1930s by a Cyprus barman.

As the popularity of cocktails make a comeback in New York, London and other global party hotspots, Cyprus has brought the world the "Fire and Forget" cocktail -- winner of the first pan-Cyprian Original Cyprus Cocktail Competition this year.

The latest Cypriot cocktail expected to take the drinking world by storm was invented by 19-year-old student Stergios Tikas, who combined three Cypriot spirits and a sweet wine whose heritage stretches back to Homeric times.

The drink is a combination of Greek aniseed-flavored spirit Ouzo, Cypriot Zivania, Nama sweet dessert wine, orange liqueur, mixed with pomegranate and orange juice, with a drop or two of rose cordial.

"Red Zivania at the bottom of the glass has the bite, the yellow mixture at the top soothes it," Tikas said.

But Nama may be the star ingredient of the drink.

Cyprus prides itself on its boozy heritage, with historians saying its sweet Commandaria dessert wine has been made on the island since at least 1,000 BC and is thought to be the oldest wine still in production. It was known in Homeric times as Nama.   Continued...

 
<p>A range of Cypriot cocktails with names such as "Wet Noon", "Fire and Forget" and "Rose Ecstasy" are seen on display at the island's first pan-Cyprian Original Cyprus Cocktail Competition in Nicosia, January 22, 2011. REUTERS/Andreas Manolis</p>