Ouzo lemonade slushie (Slushy cocktail)

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This slushy cocktail made with ouzo and lemonade is the perfect summer slushie treat!

This slushy cocktail made with ouzo and lemonade is the perfect summer slushie treat!


Summer makes us thirsty! There is nothing like a refreshing cocktail, sipped poolside, to help celebrate the warm weather months. Flavours and recipes we would pass on in winter, we crave in the summer – frosty cocktails are one of those things.

Montreal summers can get pretty hot and humid. Temperatures ranging in the high twenties or early thirties, with a high humidex can make you feel hot and sweaty and pretty uncomfortable. The best place to be when that happens is by the water (a pool, a lake, the shower), sipping a nice cool drink.

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Ouzo lemonade

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A refreshing summer drink made with ouzo and lemonade.

A refreshing summer drink made with ouzo and lemonade


Ούζο λεμονάδα. Let’s all raise a glass to Billie’s Koumbara Georgia. Several years ago, during a summer get together, Georgia served a pitcher filled with ούζο λεμονάδα or ouzo lemonade. She made it simply, with a good quality store-bought lemonade and a generous glug of ouzo. Stir, serve over ice, and marvel at the simple things in life.

Since then ouzo lemonade has become a staple during the warm weather months. It is refreshing, tart and sweet in the way that ouzo is. We like to keep this drink as simple as Koumbara Georgia did; the only way we dress it up is by adding a sprig of either mint or rosemary (our preference) to help stir the drink and add an extra layer of flavour. So go ahead, pour yourself a glass of ouzo lemonade and cheers to family, friends and Koumbara Georgia!

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Strawberry and watermelon frozen ouzo cocktail

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Strawberry and watermelon frozen ouzo cocktail

A Greek aperitif cocktail make with strawberries and watermelon

Cheers to summer! We love to entertain at home, and now that our world has changed, inviting a few guests over for an evening under the stars is even more appealing. Not really bar and club people to begin with (those days are long gone), the idea of going out to mix and mingle with too many other people is a little unsettling. So, we’re thankful to have the opportunity to host comfortable get-togethers chez nous. And we’re even more thankful to ouzo, the lovely anise flavoured liqueur that we have grown very fond of playing with.

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Ouzo with blueberries

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Ouzo with blueberries

The classic Greek liquor infused with Quebec blueberries and a touch of basil.

We are all the product of so many different parts. Today, we thought it would be fitting to marry two flavours, from two different parts of the world, both of which are integral to who we are. The first, ouzo from Greece. Our parents’ homeland, the land of our cultural heritage, our family, our deep-rooted identity. And second, blueberries from Quebec. Our birthplace, the province where we have lived our whole lives. It seems fitting especially today as we celebrate the Quebec National holiday of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, and the Christian holiday of the nativity of the Forerunner, John the Baptist, a very important day in our Orthodox faith tradition. So, we decided to mark the occasion in the best way we know how – through food, and drink.

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Honeydew ouzo cocktail

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Honeydew ouzo cocktail

Frozen honeydew, mint, lime juice and just the right splash of ouzo for your drinking pleasure

Our daughters are smoothie lovers.  Breakfasts, snacks, and late night hunger pangs are often addressed with a medley of frozen fruit blended together with either milk or juice.  So easy, they’ve been in charge of their own smoothie-making for years.  Our job is to ensure that there is enough frozen fruit available, and to supply a lovely, colourful variety to keep things interesting.

Although we purchase bags of frozen fruit there are some choices that you just can’t find easily. And so, we cut up things like papaya, cantaloupe, passion fruit (yes, we are exotic over here), and freeze the chunks on baking sheets before transferring them to a freezer bag.  One afternoon, feeling inspired and thirsty, and needing to free up some freezer space for the spanakopita we had made for another day, we decided to make some adult smoothies.

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Cantaloupe frosty with ouzo

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Cantaloupe drink with ouzo

Remember last week when we posted about cantaloupe with ouzo, and you hurried off to make that recipe because it sounded so refreshing and delicious?  Aren’t you still pretty amazed by how great those flavours come together? Do you perhaps have some cantaloupe left over, and some ouzo remaining in the bottle? And are you perhaps, a little bit thirsty?

If you answered yes to those questions, boy, do we have a treat for you.  This frosty cantaloupe and ouzo drink is a slushy sensation. Serve it at your next rambunctious get-together, or quiet evening on the porch; this cocktail will make any moment that much more memorable.

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Cantaloupe with ouzo (Πεπόνι με ούζο)

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Cantaloupe with ouzo

Cantaloupe with ouzo is a refreshing cocktail with a Greek twist!

In our home, desserts like baklava and galaktoboureko were not staples after every dinner, but fruit certainly was.  Even when we were fortunate enough to have a sweet dessert, fruit was still served, between the main meal and the grand, often syrupy, finale. Whether it was a bowl of clementines, some grapes, or cherries, fruit was always part of our meal.  Even when we felt so full that we couldn’t possibly eat another bite, as the fruit bowl hit the table, we dove right in.  Fresh fruit is hard to resist.

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Spoon sweet vanilla with ouzo (Βανίλια με ούζο)

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Spoon sweet vanilla

Spoon sweet vanilla or Ypovrechio is a classic Greek sweet!

Like many immigrants of their generation, our parents started a new life, in a new country, with very little in their pockets, no social support network, and no knowledge of the language they were now surrounded by.  To make ends meet, they both worked long and hard hours.  When our mother first arrived, alone, in Canada, she worked as a live-in maid for several wealthy families. When she married my dad, they then went on to work in the garment industry,  food processing plants and housekeeping department of a rehabilitation center.  These were not glamorous jobs, but they were always done with pride, respect and commitment.  We can’t remember our parents ever taking a sick day, or ever complaining that they wished they didn’t have to work that day.  As young girls, we saw our dad leaving the house at 6 am, returning home at approximately 4 pm, and then leaving again shortly afterwards to meet our mom at her job.  Her employers were nice enough to allow our father to help her with her work, so that she could finish earlier, and come home to her children.  Looking back, they both must have been exhausted, but we never heard either of them complain that they were tired.  Instead, our father would often say, work is health (η δουλειά είναι υγεία).

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