All posts filed under: Ouzo

Women in STEM and Ancient Alchemists

Yes, there is an overlap between my work with Leading Women and my Sip.Savor.Adventure! hobby. It goes beyond the fact that my first official connection is with a woman-owned and operated distillery. The overlap goes back to the tradition of alchemy in ancient times. Here’s how I know. Alchemists from the Ancient World I turn to Wikipedia to learn about the distillation process. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, to read that Cleopatra* the Alchemist (a woman who lived 1800 years ago) is believed to have invented the alembic still – a precursor to the pot still used to distill liquor. I often use the hashtag, #AnonymousWasAWoman and am not surprised to read that “Cleopatra is a pseudonym for an author whose real name has been lost.” Apparently, women in STEM have had their voices muffled for at least 1800 years. In this case, at least, they get her gender right! The alchemist known as Mary the Jewess lived perhaps as many as 200 years before Cleopatra. If you’ve ever melted chocolate or made custard …

An Accidental Ouzo

It’s Brussels in September. Gray, damp, rainy. I sit down to dinner and what do I see on the menu? Ricard (pastis from France) and Ouzo from Plomari*! It’s shocking. How is it that ouzo from Plomari is on the menu of this charming old (very Belgian and family run) hotel? A fortuitous accident? What to choose, the famous Ricard from France or the ouzo? Having recently sampled the Ricard at my first tasting party, I order the ouzo – only to be scolded by the waiter who tells me, “Ouzo is a summer drink.” Being unconventional is not going to stop me!  If I’m to become a world renowned authority on anise flavored drinks (the recent way I describe my adventures sipping them around the Mediterranean – and, apparently, beyond) then I must try this ouzo. After all, Plomari on the island of Lesvos is the most famous distilling location for ouzo – or so the Barbayanni distillery would want you to believe. They even have a museum. Somewhat befuddled by my insistence on …