Chic and elegant, with traditional routes and an UpToDate inspiration, with respect to the history of Vallindras distillery and a modern attitude towards the classic citrus liqueur, Kitron 1896 Cocktail Bar is the ideal choice in Naxos town, for those who love classic tastes, but also for the ones who would like to experience new flavours.
In the interior of the atmospheric bar, which is located on the coastal main street, the history of the Vallindras family, whose name is closely connected with Naxos’ signature liqueur, is unfolded on old posters, photographs and other rare memorabilia. They all reflect their devotion and love for the product they’ve been creating for 125 now, the part that citrus liqueur has played in the economy and the gastronomy wealth of the island and also the distinctions it has won.
Before taking your seat at one of the outside tables, it’s worth spending some time looking at the wooden display cases with the whole collection of drinks that are being distilled in the beautiful village of Halki, but also at the black and white photos, the designs of old logos and the awards attributed to the famous Naxian liqueur.
And although the space, in all its classic elegance, points out the history of the distillery, the drinks’ menu boldly shows towards the future. This summer, instead of a red strawberry Margarita dare to try a green Kitron sorbet, refreshing, aromatic and with the lighter of the 3 citrus liqueurs as its main ingredient. And instead of your summer classic Mohito, say yes to Mohitron, an interesting version with citrus of course. The top suggestion of Kitron 1896 Cocktail Bar is the cocktail named after the year that the Vallindras distillery was established, 1896, which combines the aromas of citrus with the cool taste of lime and spearmint, while my personal favourite is Kitron Summer, with the Aegean tastes of citrus and mastic in perfect balance. Nevetherthelass, if you insist on classic tastes, a cold Psimeni, an aromatic Citrus Raki or a glass of Vallindra Ouzo – with its special botanical character of herbs like angelica route, coriander and fennel – seem the ideal choices for island, summer nights.
And as Kitron Bar’s team never rests, they add a few sweet suggestions to the menu, which all have citrus as their reference point: Cheesecake with xynomyzithra cheese from Naxos’ mountain villages and citrus marmalade, or Pancakes with the same flavour combination, which will leave a perfectly aromatic aftertaste.
It’s an indisputable fact that once old fashioned liqueurs are now established cocktail ingredients. The time has come for citrus too, to play a leading part in your summer nights, adding the taste of tradition into sophisticated cocktails.
All photos above: Courtesy Myrto Katramadou