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Chris Amirault

Mastika/Mastiha

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Does anyone have any information about mastika/matiha, the Greek liqueur made from mastic?

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perhaps this is what sparked your interest. (if so, you already have this info.) if not, there is a sidebar in the current (aug/sept 2010) issue of saveur magazine--the greece issue-- (pg 70) describing mastiha.

...a traditional Greek liqueur flavored with mastic, the hardened resin of the mastic tree. Mastic is a little bit of wonder. Thanks to a combination of climate, soil, and careful cultivation, the Greek island of Chios is the only place in the world where the tree exudes its aromatic resin--hence mastic's Greek nickname, "tears of Chios."

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It is precisely! "Sweet with a heady, herbal aroma and a light flavor of pine" is right up my alley....

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I've never seen the liqueur here in Vancouver but I have seen the actual mastic resin and a jam/paste made from mastic in the local Greek grocery stores. From those you could make some neat cocktail ingredients such as a mastic gomme syrup (use mastic instead of gum arabic) or a mastic tincture. I love the piney taste of mastic as well.

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Just tried Roots Mastiha at a restaurant. Slightly sweet and syrupy, nose of eau de vie (primarily pear to me), fig-like finish. I enjoyed it. Since a bar got it in Boston, I assume it is available in stores, but I haven't seen it.

 

It was the only thing in a long list of amari that I hadn't had. I was expecting something brown, sweet and bitter, so this weird clear eau-like liqueur was unexpected. I don't often drink something like this after dinner, and it is too sweet before, but it was definitely interesting. I suspect it could make a nice sour. There are limited Mastika recipes in Kindred Cocktails. I'm not sure how Roots Mastiha differs for other Mastikas.

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