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It is said that smell and taste create the most lasting memories when visiting a tourist destination. Picture yourselves in a taverna, sitting with friends around a table, raising your glass to propose a toast and drinking one of Cyprus local drinks or cocktails. The precious local ingredients form a distinctive blend, which is a unique expression of the heart and soul of the Cyprus countryside and mountains. We welcome you to take a sip of the Cyprus Negroni (Zivania, filfar orange, kommandaria, pastellaki) a cocktail that will tantalize your senses and introduce you to the legendary world of Cyprus. Its ingredients are all locally made and bring the essence of the island into your glass. Take a sip and enjoy Cyprus on the tip of your tongue.

Recipe of Cyprus Negroni:
3cl Zivania
1cl Pastellaki (nut brittle)
2cl Filfar Orange liqueur
3cl Kommandaria

In a mixing glass we add all our ingredients over ice and we stir for 30 seconds.
Then, we transfer the liquid in a clean glass with a big ice chunk and we garnish with a small piece of pastellaki.

Below you can find more about the ingredients:

If you are a fan of strong spirits then Zivania is just the drink for you! With an alcohol content ranging between 40-60%, it is no surprise that the island’s national drink of Zivania is also referred to as ‘firewater’! The history of zivania goes back in centuries as it was first encounter in Homer’s Odyssey, where it is referred to as “Zivanon”, a drink consumed by the Cyclops. Zivanon is the grape pomace (remains such as pulp, peel, stalks and seeds) which is mixed with high-quality dry wines made from the indigenous grapes Mavro (red) and Xynisteri (white), then distilled and mellowed for a long period.

The production of this pomace spirit dates back to the Venetian times in the 14th century and it is still produced in the same traditional manner. Distillation takes place in a cauldron (‘kazani’) with three different processes giving us different qualities and intensity of the drink. The resulting liquid is clear and strong and is usually enjoyed as a digestif – best served cold from the freezer. As zivania ages, it becomes more aromatic, hence old, preserved zivania is often saved for special occasions. A red variety of zivania is also available, though less common, with its colour gained from cinnamon. Red zivania is highly aromatic and was first produced by the monks of Kykkos Monastery. It was offered as a welcoming drink to important visitors of the monastery and as a present along with a bottle of Koumantaria and a bottle of red wine.

Zivania can be served as a digestif or as the main ingredient in a cocktail. The new trends introduce traditional flavors presented in alternative, more creative and contemporary ways. Zivania cocktails are refreshing, delicate, enchanting, sturdy and summery. Don’t hesitate to ask your bartender for a Zivania cocktail, even if it’s not on the menu. It’s a drink you will never have in any other place on Earth.

Cyprus can proudly lay claim to the world’s oldest wine still in production - that of the delicious sweet dessert wine Kommandaria. Thought to date back to 800 BC, references to the consumption of a wine named ‘Cypriot Nama’ is believed to have been Kommandaria before it was given its current name during the crusades in the 12th century.

It was thought that the wine had therapeutic qualities and it was widely used as a tonic. Richard the Lionheart celebrated his capture of Cyprus and his marriage to Berengaria in Lemesos (Limassol) with Kommandaria, declaring it “the wine of kings and the king of wines”. In 1192 he sold the island to the Knights of St. John and the Knight Templars, who then sold it to Guy de Lusignan, but kept their headquarters at Kolossi. Kommandaria was mainly produced in Kolossi – which was their administrative centre called ‘La Grande Commanderie’ - and it was here that the wine found its name.

The dried grapes are pressed, with the run-off collected and fermented in tanks or huge earthenware jars - much like those used in bygone times. No visit to the island is complete without picking up a bottle to take home, not just as a drink, but also as a sweet piece of the island’s history!

Filfar orange liqueur
A sip of Filfar evokes memories of the heady fragrance of the citrus blossom and of citrus fruits glistening in the warm sunshine and contrasting against the dark green shine of the leaves. Filfar has been a popular drink since it first appeared on local supermarket shelves nearly fifty years ago and its story is as rich as the mythology of Aphrodite’s Island.

The recipe of this unique liqueur is a closely guarded secret, but the little we know about it says that up to 20 oranges of two different varieties and three different herbs are used to make each bottle and the mixture is matured for three months prior to bottling. Production begins in early December each year when the oranges are harvested and continues for four months. It is worth mentioning that much of the process is still done by hand.

Filfar is a versatile drink and served as a liqueur it is the perfect finale to a special dinner or to enjoy on a winters evening whilst sitting in the golden glow of a log fire. Alternatively, Filfar is cool and refreshing when made into a long drink by mixing with lemonade or soda water and adding plenty of ice. If there is a cook in your house, you will need to hide the distinctively shaped bottle away as it really gives an extra something to fruit jelly – fruitcake made with fruit soaked in Filfar is impossible to resist.

Pastellaki (nut brittle)
The traditional nut brittle of Pastelaki originated from Ancient Greece and makes good use of the locally grown nuts and sesame seeds, particularly almonds and peanuts.

Resembling a cereal bar, truly authentic Pastelaki binds sesame seeds with carob syrup to make a nutritious and healthy sweet treat, although more commercial versions now use honey or other sugars, and a variety of nuts. It is an excellent source of natural sugar fit for runners and nature aficionados who enjoy walking along rugged and difficult terrains.

Available in packaged bars, Pastelaki makes a sweet gift or great souvenir to take back and enjoy at home!

If you have enjoyed the Cyprus drinks just follow the links below for more information that would tantalize your senses.


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