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What Is Zivania
What Is Zivania
 
What Is Zivania?
11/12/2018
Zivania is a distillation unique to Cyprus and a staple of the taverna menu. For hundreds of years, it was made in the village and served as a welcome drink along with almonds, walnuts, Cyprus delight, or small appetisers like pork sausage flavoured with oranges (indeed, this tradition continues today). It is strong (about 45% alcohol by volume), colourless, and carries an aroma of raisins. It is always served ice-cold. Zivania can be understood as a by-product of the annual winemaking process. After the local grape varieties xynisteri and mavro are pressed for their juices, the residue—or pomace—is fermented and mixed with high-quality dry wines. Modern producers place this mixture in a stainless-steel tank and distil it with steam, following strict guidelines set forth by the government. Since 2004, zivania has been protected by European Union regulations as a product only to be made in Cyprus. Indeed, though other regional distillations like arak and eau-de-vie are made through a similar process, zivania is made exclusively from grapes and thus benefits from the island’s unique terroir and climate. If zivania is produced using another wine variety, that must be indicated on the label (e.g., zivania cabernet). Because zivania is a popular accompaniment to meze dinners, Annabelle’s seaside taverna Mediterraneo offers the Zivania Meze Menu during the summer months. The nine-course meal includes cold meats and cheeses, several preparations of olives, a variety of local sausages, grilled meats, and sweets—all expertly matched with zivania. It’s an experience you can only enjoy in Cyprus.