Mastic, widely known since ancient times for its beneficial and therapeutic properties, is an aromatic resin offered to us by the mastic tree (Pistacia Lentiscus var. Chia, Anacardaceae family), a shrub flourishing in Southern Chios. Mastic has constituted - and still does - the emblem of the island of Chios, and a large part of the island's growth is attributed to the blessed teardrop of the mastic tree.
The liqueur known as Masticha of Chios is produced on the island and is the outcome of the distillation of genuine mastic, a process that distinguishes it from a plain mastic liqueur. It is traditionally and exclusively produced in Greece, on the island of Chios in particular. This traditional Greek liqueur shows enormous potential in the international market, particularly after its exclusive production in Greece was secured by EU legislation.
The producers of the island of Chios realized the importance of mastic early on and, as a result, one of their very first products in the 18th century was Mastic Ouzo, resulting from the distillation of anise seeds together with natural mastic.
Later on, as they witnessed the consumers’ trends, they experimented on the production of liqueur made of mastic by distilling the mastic’s crystals, obtaining a natural mastic distillate and, in turn, adding pure alcohol of agricultural origin and sugar to produce the Masticha of Chios Liqueur.
Nowadays, the producers of Masticha of Chios, demonstrating tremendous respect for tradition, purchase the “miraculous teardrops” of the mastic tree, in other words mastic of superior quality only from the island of Chios and in particular the Chios Gum Mastic Growers’ Association (a product of protected geographical origin and quite expensive due to its uniqueness and limited production), distil it in traditional copper stills of a capacity of 1,000 liters and use the natural mastic distillate to create this fine liqueur, the taste of which encompasses the entire history of the island.
Local tradition has it that the Masticha of Chios Liqueur be served accompanied by a dessert after each meal or alongside coffee.
Nowadays, the traditional Masticha of Chios Liqueur is also an excellent choice in a shot, ice cold at all times, or even as an aperitif, served in a goblet, with plenty of crushed ice.