Amorgos is a charming island in the heart of the Cycladic Complex in the Aegean Sea, known since the 80s due to the critically acclaimed film, the Big Blue.
Although until now the guests and visitors of Amorgos had the chance to try one of the most tasteful drinks, the baked raki or Rakomelo of Amorgos, today Mr. Antonis Vekris produces the “Greek tequila” of Amorgos, a drink that comes from the prickly pears that exist in abundance on the island of Amorgos.
Mr. Vekris is an experienced raki maker and winemaker, who had a brilliant idea: knowing that tequila comes from the agave plants that grow in the Mexican soil, he decided to try to use the cactus prickly pears that grow in Amorgos, so as to create an original “Greek Tequila”.
Prickly pears grow everywhere in Amorgos, withstanding the dry climate and the rocky soil of the island. Mr. Vekris decided to try distilling the juice from the prickly pears, so as to see what the result would be. As it proved, it was a nice, tasty and refreshing “tequila”, the first “Greek Tequila”.
His next move was to send it to credible chemical testing labs so as to get a serious analysis and evaluation of the product. The news were more than positive and good, as the new distillate featured 40% volume of alcohol; the tests gave him the green light to go on with his experiments for the “Greek Tequila”.
Mr. Vekris invited the inhabitants and the local farmers of Amorgos to gather prickly pears for him, so that he could produce the tequila in large quantities. According to the tequila maker, the process is of course full of secrets, but the main one is that the prickly pears need to be mature enough and peeled carefully and religiously. Once the first steps are completed, the art of distilling takes over. ‘Distilling needs its own technique, we cannot reveal everything’ says Mr. Vekris about his “Greek Tequila”.
For now, the first quantities of the “Greek Tequila” of Amorgos are tasted by his friends and collaborators, as the bureaucratic procedures and a series of registration processes have yet to be concluded. Once the typical part is done, the “Greek Tequila” of Amorgos will have its own name, which is for now, not revealed, especially since the Mexicans have the exclusive rights of use for the term “tequila” For now Mr. Vekris refers to it as a “distillate of prickly pears and herbs from Amorgos”.