Konstantina and Lefteris describe how they combined Geology with organic alcoholic beverages and the difficulties they faced. Let’s get to know them!…
Tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you get started? How did you come up with the idea to get involved with food?
Aithra Premium Organic Spirits is a small distillery of organic alcoholic beverages based in Patras. It all started in 2018, we were postgraduate students of the Department of Geology of the University of Patras, from a Christmas gift of my partner and partner. A strawberry liqueur, with a beautiful bottle and a very bright red color. But, tastefully it wasn’t what I expected from its appearance. We began to deal with amateur with the production of alcoholic beverages and somewhere there we participated in some entrepreneurship seminars and innovation competitions. In fact, we won the Mindspace Challenge 2019 and almost immediately came a collaboration with the French Embassy, where more than 5000 guests tasted our drink. Seeing the gap that exists in the Greek market of organic products and after a lot of work and experimentation, we decided to open the company in early 2020.
Tell us a little bit about the brand. What does he stand for? What purpose did you create it for?
Aithra comes from mythology. Behind this name hides a spicy myth, from which we were inspired the name of the company. All the names we give to our products are related to Geology, wanting to keep the connection with our previous occupation. The brand was created in order to create organic alcoholic beverages with alternative ways of sweetening, without preservatives and flavor enhancers. Thus was created the first product of Aithra and the AMBER series, the AMBER classic edition that ‘’marries’’ products of Peloponnese and Crete. In the coming years we look forward to “marrying” with other regions of Greece.
How did you get started? What difficulties did you face?
Aithra may have existed since 2018 as an idea, but as a company it was founded in January 2020, right before the Covid19 pandemic. The difficulties that a new company has in its first steps are many, such as the establishment and recognition of its products in the market and by the consumers and combined with the lockdowns and everything that the pandemic brought with it, the difficulties became even more. We started with a small private capital and the prize of 8000 euros creating a distillery from scratch. As for the procedures and the permits, the hassle was great. But we are lucky to have our families and friends by our side, who with their support we managed to cope and try to get the company back on its feet.
Tell us about your products. What makes them different?
At the moment our company has the AMBER series, where amber classic edition (19% vol.) is already available on the market and at the end of November amber pure edition (28% vol.) it is a product with authenticity, purity and purity. Currants, Madagascar vanilla & spices are baptized in a blend of organic spirits and wines of Crete and the Peloponnese creating a rich and elegant drink with amber color, rich aroma and persistent aftertaste with a long finish. 100% natural extraction product, without sugar, chemicals and flavor enhancers.
At the beginning of September, the organic tsipouro (38% vol.) ‘’ALITIS’’ was added to our family. Clear, pure distillate of double distillation, with fine aromas of white-fleshed fruits, pear banana and hints of rose. The body is quite soft, balanced with a pleasantly sweet finish.
What makes the AMBER series different is that it is the first in Greece certified organic alcoholic beverage that rejects the use of sugar and relies on the natural sugars of Currants to acquire its sweet and very properly balanced taste.
Tell us about the raw materials?
We are very interested in the quality of the raw materials we use. All the raw materials (Cretan tsikoudia, 2 indigenous wine varieties of the Peloponnese, currants, spices) that are needed for the creation of the final product, are certified organically and are carefully selected after research and tastings.
Are there any of your products that stand out?
The truth is that our first creation AMBER has stolen our heart, but tastefully and qualitatively we do not distinguish any of our products.
Give us some suggestions for your products (ways of use except the classics, tips or recipes, etc.)
AMBER is a multidimensional product. Together with a team consisting of chef and bartender we discovered interesting aspects of the drink. Initially, it can be consumed as a drink on its own, only with the addition of ice (preferably metal ice cubes), so as not to alter the taste. It is also an excellent base for cocktails. For example, as a cocktail for before eating to prepare the taste buds and prepare them to welcome the flavors of the food. Moreover, it has been used both in cooking and in pastry, creating unique dishes. For example, chef Dimitris Karatzaferis’ dish: Galaktoboureko with black leaves of activated carbon, semolina with AMBER classic edition, lime and ginger syrup.
Cocktail recipe: Fill a tall glass with ice cubes, add 50ml AMBER classic edition, 1/4 shot squeezed lime & fill it up to the top with ginger ale. Garnish with a piece of ginger zest.
Can Greek producers make a difference in the midst of the crisis?
In our opinion, the quality of Greek products is indisputable. The crisis creates opportunities and the only way for Greece to emerge from the crisis is to switch to production. We are blessed to live in this place, the Greek land is rich and we must protect it so that it continues to provide us with the excellent raw materials. New producers are more informed and implement innovative policies based on respect for the environment. Surely the journey is not easy and the most important thing is not to give up but to persevere to achieve their goals.
Why did you choose to participate in and support the Wise Greece Movement?
The Aithra team loves to offer. When we discovered Wise Greece, we were impressed by its action and impact on society and we definitely wanted to support it. All the producers we participate in Wise Greece have a goal, to be able to all together promote the excellent Greek products and at the same time to help people in need.