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Ouzo is traditionally mixed with water, becoming cloudy white, sometimes with a faint blue tinge, and served with ice cubes in a small glass and is traditionally served with a small plate of a variety of appetizers called mezes, usually small fresh fish, olives and feta cheese.
On October 25, 2006, Greece won the right to label ouzo as an exclusively Greek product and the European Union now recognizes ouzo, as well as the Greek drinks tsipouro and tsikoudia, as products with a Protected Designation of Origin, which prohibits European makers other than Greece and Cyprus from using the name.
Ouzo is often referred to as a particularly strong drink, although its alcohol content is not especially high compared to other liquor. The reason mainly has to do with its sugar content. Sugar delays ethanol absorption in the stomach, and may thus mislead the drinker into thinking that they can drink more as they do not feel tipsy early on. Then the cumulative effect of ethanol appears and the drinker becomes inebriated rather quickly. This is why it is generally considered poor form to drink ouzo in Greece without eating anything The presence of food, especially fats or oils, in the upper digestive system prolongs the absorption of ethanol and ameliorates alcohol intoxication.
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