Mountovina, Bee-Keepers’ Ouzo

    Moudovina (1)Tsipouro is the product of the slow and gradual distillation of the fermented grape marc. It is usually served in shot glasses, very cold, often with mezedes (tidbits), nuts and raisins, feta  cheese, olives, and can accompany halva and sweets.

    Ouzo is the product of alcohol with anise that gives its distinct flavor, and is usually accompanied by small fresh fish, fries, olives and feta cheese.

    Few people know that there is another drink from the same family called mountovina. Mountovina is a drink which is not produced from grapes but from honey,fermentation of fruits or trahana that is a combination of wheat flour and milk. This unknown to the public drink, is produced in the foothills of Holomontas, the mountain of Chalkidiki, Greece. Arnaia is a town popular for honey production and mountovina..

    The old beekeepers there, make their own bee hives known as coffini, which resemble baskets. To remove the honey from the hives they use an old method, draining, and melt the interior of the bee hives inside the coffini manually. From the remains of bee hives after their crushing, bee wax is produced. One of the products of the remnants of bee waxing is mountovina, which resembles another alcoholic drink, raki.

    Recently, the Ministry of Finance recognized mountovina as a local product, something which is expected to have positive results for bee-keeping, local tradition and agritourism. For the product recognition, several historical evidence relative to mountovina’s production in Arnaia, Chalkidiki, was used. According to the mayor of Arnaia, mountovina’s fame could expand abroad rapidly.

    Mountovina is used by the inhabitants of Chalkidiki against the common cold and other ailments, as well as a digestive.