“Suggestions for ouzo?… I don’t love it, and online drink searches reveal Coke, coffee liqueur, Jagermeister (OMG), neon blue additions (I hate), and lemonade as flavor pairings.” — Blog commenter clstal, 02 May 2012

Thanks for asking, clstal! And double thanks for your awesome (even if unintentional) reference to one of my favorite Patton Oswalt bits.

Thanks not just because I love being asked for hooch help (R U listening entire blogosphere?) but because I happen to find myself with a huh-how’d-that-happen? ouzo backlog clogging my liquor cabinet: One practically full bottle of ouzo, gifted from a friend’s girlfriend who attended one of our Sunday cocktailing seshes (I suspect she was in the same boat and just wanted to get the ouzo out of her house); one half-ish full bottle of arak, aka Lebanese ouzo (aka “It’s bettah than ouzo!”) which we’ve had for maybe two years, because that’s how slowly we drink this stuff.

What I don’t have: a particular affinity for ouzo/arak/whatevzo you call it. Licorice has just never been my favorite flavor, starting with black licorcie on Halloween — make mine strawberry Twizzler pleezze! — and continuing through my inevitable Jager-shooting phase in my 20s because I didn’t know any better. (Re: clstal’s list of possible mixers above, ouzo and Jager? Comment dit-on overkill, blargh?) Licorice (if you think of it as the candied version of anise, which I do like at certain times/amounts) was clearly invented in an alternate universe that exists only in shades of gray.

‘Tis a tricky flavor to mix with others, and I fully admit that this first attempt of mine to do so might strike clstal and her ilk as on par with the sad-alcoholic-clown list of mixers above. But from what I’ve researched, the Greek Tiger, simple as it is, is a common quaff in Greece, a populist fave intended for easy drinking; I picture a lot of azure waters and pristine white patios where people sip this. And I can actually picture myself doing so, even in my paved, Montreal backyard, albeit slowly and while noshing on some pre-dinner olives to counterbalance the drink’s sweetness while playing nicely with its tartness.

The Greek Tiger

1 ounce Arak Razzouk

4 ounces Tropicana orange juice

Combine both liquids in an ice-filled tumbler. Stir briskly. If desired, add a garnish such as a clementine-peel twist (pictured).

Tasting Notes

OK, so I totally low-shelf’d the ingredients here. I went with my arak instead of my ouzo, purely for shelf-clearing purposes, and I supplemented with Tropicana because we had some in the house from when my Mom had visited… so in other words, also for shelf-clearing purposes.

Does anyone else drink Tropicana so rarely now, in adulthood, that when you taste some you almost trick your body into thinking it must have a cold, because why else would you be feeding it Tropicana?

Also, I must say I recommend the clementine-peel twist. It’ll help convince you you’re drinking something bettah than a Greek screwdriver!

Finally, I wonder if the Greeks call this a Greek Tiger? Or just a Tiger?

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