Along with Ouzo, Metaxa is the most famous Greek alcohol in the world. Metaxa was developed by the Greek silk merchant Spyros Metaxa in the late 1800s. Because of his work, Spyros traveled extensively and at the same time learned various alcohols and wines from different countries. He thought many distillates were too harsh for the palate and he wanted to create a new, smoother spirit. Metaxa was released in 1888 and quickly gained great popularity in the Mediterranean countries. Today, the Metaxa distillery and maturing cellars are located in Athens and the brand is owned by Remy Cointreau.
Metaxa is a blend of three different ingredients. 1) Brandy distilled twice in a pot still, made from different Greek grape varieties. 2) Matured and aromatized Muscat wine made in the Greek islands 3) Extract made from Mediterranean herbs and rose petals. The three ingredients are mixed together and matured in French oak barrels.
Metaxa is produced in three different outputs, 5, 7 and 12-star versions. Contrary to popular belief, these numbers do not mean years in oak barrels, but the quantities of different wines and distillates in the blend. The 5-star and 7-star versions are made as mentioned above, from brandy, Muscat wine and spices, but the 12-star version is made only from distilled wines. Due to the added wine and spices, Metaxa cannot be called a brandy (it is reserved only for distillates made from wine), but it is almost always listed in the brandy category.
The 5-star version is very widely available in almost all shops selling alcohol in the Baltic countries. A 50 cl bottle costs about 13 euros. 7- and especially 12-star versions can mainly be found only in special stores.
Nose is very personal and varied. Floral, wine, perfum, raisin and dried fruits. The taste is very smooth and sweet. Muscat wine tastes more like brandy, and there are many other nuances in the taste. Raisins, dried fruit, floral nuances, orange and honey. The aftertaste is rather long, floral and sweet. The taste has a clear Mediterranean nuance and a strong personal touch. Due to its sweetness and smoothness, Metaxa is very easy to sip neat. Of course it works very well in different drinks also. Metaxa is an interesting and original product that everyone should try at least once.