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What is Metaxa?

Niki Acker
Updated May 16, 2024
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Metaxa is a distilled spirit made in Greece from brandy and wine from sun-dried grapes, blended with Muscat wine. It has been made since 1888 and is exported to over 60 countries. The spirit is a brown, rich, and earthy beverage made using a complex, secret recipe featuring Greek grapes and spices. It is usually served on the rocks, neat, or mixed with sours.

The Metaxa distillery was founded by publican Spyros Metaxas in 1888, and the spirit was first exported to the United States in 1900. The bottle celebrates Greek culture with its amphora shape and its label featuring the image of an ancient Greek warrior that was found on a coin during the excavation for the first Metaxa factory. Metaxa is now a part of the French Rémy Cointreau group, which also includes Rémy Martin cognac, Cointreau, Mount Gay rum, Passoã, and Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck champagnes.

Metaxa is made from three separate blends that are mixed together to create the final product. A brandy is distilled from the wine of various sun-dried grapes, including Black Corinth, Rhoditis, Savatiano, and Sultana, and aged in new, handmade French oak barrels. Aged Muscat wine is made using barrels left over from the brandy. The third blend is a secret mixture of Greek spices and herbs, including rose petals, with distilled water. The three blends are combined with a young Muscat wine to produce a more mellow final product.

There are five major types of Metaxa, as well as special limited edition products. In ascending order of quality and complexity, the five main products are Three Stars, Five Stars, Seven Stars, Twelve Stars, and Grand Reserve. The Twelve Stars spirit is internationally distributed, while the Grand Reserve and limited edition products are more difficult to find and sometimes limited to certain regions.

Metaxa can be enjoyed on its own or in a variety of cocktails. It can be used in the place of other spirits in traditional cocktails, such as with tonic water and in Greek versions of the Sidecar, Caipirinha, and Mojito. It mixes well with fruit juices and sweet liqueurs. The Greek version of a Caipirinha, for example, a drink that originates in Brazil, blends Metaxa with cane sugar and lime, along with a mix of fresh fruit and a black olive. Its flavor is rich, sweet, and complex, with notes of rose, bay leaf, cinnamon, dried fruits, lavender, nutmeg, and pepper.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Niki Acker
By Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a DelightedCooking editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of interesting and unusual topics to gather ideas for her own articles. A graduate of UCLA with a double major in Linguistics and Anthropology, Niki's diverse academic background and curiosity make her well-suited to create engaging content for WiseGeekreaders. "
Discussion Comments
By anon288632 — On Aug 30, 2012

Napacabs has the special reserve Metaxa brandy which is a 30 year old blend for a reasonable price.

By ladyjane — On Aug 25, 2011

@babylove - My husband is a brandy drinker too. We live near a Greek community here in Florida that sells the Metaxa Greek brandy. I know it's a little far from Kentucky, but I think you can find them, along with other retailers online where you can purchase it directly from their website.

I never cared much for the taste of it myself so I've come up with my own Metaxa drink by adding sugar syrup, water and lemon in a tall glass of ice with mint leaves. It's very cool and refreshing.

By Markus — On Aug 24, 2011

@babylove - I used to live in Bellevue, Kentucky and I can remember a party house liquor store there that used to sell Metaxa five and seven star brandy.

I don't know if they still sell it or if they're still in business but you might give it a try. I think Bellevue is only about a hundred miles north of Louisville so you could make a little day trip out of it. Good luck!

By babylove — On Aug 24, 2011

For as long as I can remember my dad always enjoyed drinking a glass of fine brandy after a nice meal. I've heard a lot of good things about Metaxa liquor and thought it would be nice to bring him a bottle the next time I'm in for a visit. Does anyone know where I can buy Metaxa brandy in the Kentucky area?

Niki Acker
Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a DelightedCooking editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range...
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