Amazing and sophisticated, Skinos is a liquor produced in the heart of a small Greek island. Though nearly unknown, this rare liquor is worth the trip!
Skinos is a rare liquor that owes its unique taste to its basis ingredient: the mastiha. Known since Hippocrates and only harvested in 24 villages in the north of the Greek island of Chios in the Aegean, the mastiha is the sap of a shrub called mastic or pistacia lentiscus. When oozing from the trunk and branches, it forms long drops, called “tears of Chios” by the natives. As very small quantities are collected, the mastiha is extremely rare. The resin is then distilled with agricultural alcohol and water to obtain a 30° liquor with an inimitable taste: Skinos.
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|6||4,80 €||Up to 28,82 €|
|Capacity||70cl, 20cl, 5 cl|
|Alcohol by volume||30%|
|Ingredients||Base of Mastiha (sap of the mastic).|
|Tastes and flavours||Nose: vegetable, cucumber. Mouth-feel: Round and tasty attack, fine and structured. Explosive floral and vegetable aromas cover the palate, concluding in a long and delicate finish of cucumber.|
|Tasting comments||Skinos is a beautiful discovery. Serve it after a meal in small frozen shots or in a cocktail as an aperitif.|
More than 2500 years ago, ancient visitors to the Mediterranean island of Chios, in the heart of the Aegean, told the story of a curious site and its “crying trees”.
That’s how the islanders understood that the exudation of aromatic resin from the mastic shrub was a unique treasure.
From this little outpost of the Mediterranean, the mastiha has travelled to conquer the world with it distinctive aroma and mysterious attributes.
The ancient Greeks already knew it as a remedy against stomach pain. Hippocrates recommended it as an excellent digestive aid, among numerous other therapeutic uses. Roman emperors used it to spice their wine. But most hedonistically of all, when it is distilled, it is transformed into one of the world’s truly unique spirits. Chios was classified as the only place in the world for the production of mastiha. And inexplicably, this Mediterranean island remains the only place where mastic trees produce such pure and plentiful resin.
Skinos is the ancient name for Mastiha. The remarkable flavour of this clear spirit is hard to describe: it smells like a sun-drenched rocky Mediterranean hillside covered in wild herbs, like crushed juniper berries and fresh-torn spearmint leaves, like the hauntingly deep aromas of rain-soaked cedar wood and violet essential oil.
It is gently sweet yet refreshing, fulsome yet delicate, and its balance makes Skinos highly versatile. It can be served neat, chilled, as an aperitif or a digestive, but it can also be used in innovative cocktails or as a flavour enhancer in the kitchen with fish and other foods for a distinctly Mediterranean twist.