The new handmade Retro wrapping package has been made to differentiate, with originality and elegance, the presence of Ouzo Giannatsis from others on the shelf. The original idea came from the memories of migration after both World War Two and the civil war of the early Fifties. The situation in Greece was very bad then. There was poverty and deprivation in the cities, the provinces, everywhere. People were alone, cut off, and struggling desperately to survive on what they owned. This was in vain... Soon the people realized that there was no other option but migration. They travelled to the closest European countries that had been created after the war, and also further afield to Australia, South Africa, and America.
There, as most of these migrants were skilled workers, they slowly amassed a huge fortune through years of hard work.
However, during the early years, difficult years of struggle for survival, they kept a hidden desire deep in their hearts. To return to their homeland, to kiss the dry soil where they had been born, and the cheeks of their parents. Back then, travel was difficult and expensive. Some of the migrants waited ten years, others fifteen years, some even more patiently waited the few days - and those were always quite a few days - to see again their families.
And some never made it...
One of the only consolations of those years was the postman. Letters in their envelopes, sent and received consistently, reporting all the recent events of a distant world. Who had married, who had died or had been born in the village. What the joys of family were, the difficulties of one job or another. Ended with words of comfort and wishes of health and prosperity, there was constant encouragement to be patient and stay courageous.
Every letter was a celebration...
But an even greater celebration was the wicker basket - that's how the bales from the villages were then - when they finally reached their destination. The same evening, friends gathered together and began celebrating... Then they felt as though Greece was there with them, present with flavors and tastes of childhood, hidden in a cloth bag with "chachles", "trachana" or "ladotyri", in the oil and olives of Mytilini, together in a box of salted sardines, or in a bottle of Plomari ouzo, diligently wrapped in old newspapers and tied tightly with string made of "tziva" or "canavi". These newspapers were useful, not only to keep the bottle from breaking, but also for carrying news of the country from which it had come.
You see, news of your country in a foreign land never gets old.
Finally, when the bottle was opened and the Lisvori anise gave off its sweet smell, the migrants could smell their Greece , their Lesvos..
Today, Lesvos ouzo is proudly travelling all around the world. We have chosen to decorate and pack our bottles with old newspaper and string to honour the heroes of our recent past...