||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (June 2013)|
METAXA (Greek: Μεταξά) is a Greek Brown spirit created by Spyros Metaxa in 1888. It is a blend of wine distillates, Muscat wines and a secret bouquet of rose petals and Mediterranean herbs. It is exported to over 65 countries and was the first liquor consumed in space. Metaxa literally means "silk", but it is a common Greek family name.
History of METAXA
“In the 19th century most spirits were harsh and burned the palate… Spyros Metaxa had a vision of creating a spirit that would be generous on the senses, intensely aromatic and, above all, smooth on the palate…” 
The House of Metaxa was founded by a Greek merchant and entrepreneur: Spyros Metaxa, born in the island of Euboea. He created the first Greek brandy and was involved in the foundation of the first distillation facility in 1888, a little over 50 years after the Greek War of Independence. The business was soon expanded with new factories in Istanbul and Odessa. In 1900 the first exports to the United States took place and the drink became known as "the flying brandy".
Following Spyros Metaxa's death, his sons carried on his work. METAXA is the only Greek industry that survived both World Wars. In 1968 a new factory was built in Kifissia, Athens.
The label shows a Salamina Warrior(Salamina fighter), a figure on an Ancient Greek trireme that was carved on a coin of that period, found during the excavation of the first factory in Piraeus in 1888.
The House of Metaxa has won several gold medals in international spirit competitions, showcased in many of its bottles. In 1989 the company was bought by the British drinks group Grand Metropolitan (now called Diageo) and was later sold to the Rémy Cointreau group.
In 2013, Metaxa revisited the Mount Lycabettus creating METAXA Rise, a small journey to reach the top of the hill and have one of the most breath-taking views in the World.
“METAXA starts out like a brandy, with a variety of distillates made from dry white wines from different parts of Greece. After periods of ageing in oak casks, the distillates are blended and mixed with a small amount of rich muscat wine from the Greek Aegean Islands of Samos and Limnos. Finally, Mediterranean herb and floral extracts are added – a secret recipe apart from rose petals.” 
Metaxa exceptional smoothness comes from its Muscat wine. The resulting distillates are kept in cellars, in limousine, French oak barrels. French barrels are considered more desirable than those made in North America since French Oak has smaller pores than its American counterpart. This slows the transfer of flavour between the barrel and the liquor contained within, resulting in a more subtle and refined end product.
“Metaxa: the proportions of distillate, wine and “secret ingredient” as well as the length of time spent aging vary from expression to expression.”
METAXA STARS Range: composed of 3 STARS, 5 STARS, 7 STARS, 12 STARS.
“METAXA 5 STARS. Fine, aged distillates and aromatic Muscat wines from the Aegean islands bestow upon METAXA 5 STARS its unique, floral character. Fruity (orange zest and raisin) with violet and honey overtones, the entry-level, METAXA is smooth and viscous in texture with flavours suggesting dried fruit and honey with a slightly spicy note to it and just a hint of wood.”
The 7 STARS and the 12 STARS are more flavoursome and complex. “
METAXA 7 STARS. Superior distillates aged in oak casks, noble Muscat wines from the Aegean islands Lemnos and Samos and a secret bouquet of herbs bestow upon METAXA 7 STARS its aromatic character. Spicy fruit aromas with nuances of peach pie and sultana raisin on the nose lead to by a rich, oily mouthfeel and traces of cocoa, exotic spice, buckwheat honey and a mild nuttiness.
METAXA 12 STARS, the complexity ramps up several notches with the 12 STARS expression. METAXA 12 STARS is the superior expression of the METAXA Stars Range. It embraces precious wine distillates, aged patiently in French Limousin oak casks, and exquisite Muscat wines exclusively from the Aegean island of Samos, where grapes grow on garden-sized, terrace vineyards and are picked only by hand. A secret bouquet of May roses and Mediterranean herbs tops off this blend, created by the METAXA Master Constantinos Raptis. Deep mahogany in colour, it boasts a complex aromatic collage featuring nutty/sherry notes, dried fig, apricot, marmalade and cocoa powder. Flavours of caramel and cocoa are nicely integrated and mixed in with some tobacco leaf and citrus. The finish is long with lingering traces of orange chocolate.” 
METAXA 5 STARS is usually prepared in long drinks, cocktails. Best mixers are the Tonic Water, the Pomegranate Juice, the Ginger Beer. METAXA Suntonic cocktail, Sunshine and Mykonos Mojito are the three emblematic cocktails you can ask for everywhere. METAXA 7 STARS is consumed neat or on ice. METAXA 12 STARS is best presented neat or on a single rock.
METAXA Reserve Range: with METAXA Private Reserve & the AEN METAXA.
Metaxa Private Reserve "Buckwheat honey, spices, tobacco leaf, dried fig and a subtle note of polished wood all make themselves noticed on the nose. Drier in profile than the previous samples, it is crisp, spicy and complex with hard toffee/orange zest flavours. The finish is gloriously long and memorable.
AEN METAXA. Pronounced “eye-ann” and meaning “forever”, a mere 1888 bottles of this fascinating spirit were bottled in 2008 in celebration of Metaxa’s 120 years of international success. Sourced solely from Cask Number°1 (also known as “Spyros’ cask”) containing spirits that have been blended and matured for over 80 years. Incredible aromatics leaning towards cigar box, antique wood, leather, basil, nutmeg, chocolate and lemon oil. Complex, honeyed and dry with layers of exotic spices, vanilla, mineral, chocolate and leather than go on forever. A truly unique and incomparable spirit.” 
The Specialities: composed of Grande Fine and Ouzo by METAXA.
Special Edition: the AEN
“Inside the room is the Original Cask Family and Cask Number°1. The Original Cask Family is a group of four casks, the most ancient and revered in the House cellars. Cask Number°1 is named after Spyros, the Founder. Cask Number°2 is named after Despina his wife, who took the helm of the House at her husband’s passing – one of the first women to take on and develop such a sizeable business in the conservative southern Europe. Cask number 3 and 4 bear the names of Elias and Alexandros Metaxa, Spyros’ two brothers who helped him expand internationally, taking the taste of Metaxa to the four corners of the world.“
In 2008, the House of Metaxa launched a unique and limited edition, the AEN METAXA, celebrating 120 years of the House history.
“Cask Number°1 contains ancient stocks conserved during the last 80 years. It has been exceptionally tapped for the AEN confection, placed on the market in 2008, on the occasion of the 120 anniversary of the brand.” 
AEN METAXA is the most aged product ever to be released by METAXA. It was packaged in Crystal de Sèvres decanters with a gold painted stopper and the retail prices easily exceeded the $1,000 reference price. Only 1888 (1888 was the year the House of Metaxa was founded) decanters of AEN METAXA were produced and it is sold internationally.
- Μεταξά, Το «ιπτάμενο μπράντι» (Greek)
- Frank Anthony Carl Mantello; A. G. Rigg (1996). Medieval Latin: An Introduction and Bibliographical Guide. CUA Press. p. 316. ISBN 978-0-8132-0842-8.
- Lured by Tod Stewart/ Tidingsmag.com/february-march2013/page 28
- Το «Μεταξά» που κατέκτησε την υφήλιο (Greek)
- Remy Cointreau: Liqueurs and Spirits. remy-cointreau.com
- Exploring drinks and bars-Greece academy/Barmagazine.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/greece-academy-a-visit-to-house-of-metaxa/
- Metaxa Academia/ The Sunday Mail/october 28, 2012/page 11
- Dossier spécial La fierté des GRECS/Style trends magazine n°6/november-december 2012/page 76
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Metaxa.|