Whisky done more than justice

While Greeks put away more imported hard liquor every year than any other Europeans, local consumption of more traditional alcoholic drinks such as wine and ouzo is in decline, market analysts told Kathimerini. According to the Federation of Greek Distillates and Alcoholic Beverages (SEAOP), whisky consumption in Greece has rocketed from an annual 7,200,000 bottles in 1981 to 31,032,000 in 2001. «The modern way of life has altered our drinking habits,» SEAOP Secretary-General Christos Loutzakis told Kathimerini. The average Greek now downs 2.7 liters of strong alcoholic drinks such as whisky or vodka on an annual basis, topping the EU drinking league. Wine and Greece’s trademark aniseed-flavored ouzo are dropping out of favor. «Consumption, mostly of strong drinks, is on the rise, which is not particularly good,» said Angeliki Tsarouchi, head of the Athens Sismanogleio hospital’s nutrition center. «Wine is more of a social drink, as we usually talk to each other while eating and drinking, while whisky is a loner’s tipple.»