Manos and Nikolas Smyrlakis are related to the owners of Callicounis Distilleries, a distinguished Greek liqueur distillery established in Kalamata in 1850, which is the oldest one of its kind still working in the country. Yet, it hadn’t occurred the two brothers to be involved in the business – not until they got the idea of creating Finest Roots, a premium brand offering four traditional Greek liqueurs: Rakomelo, with raki and honey, Mastiha, with pure mastic from the island of Chios, Tentura, with cinnamon, and Herb Spirit, with dittany of Crete.
The brand’s Greek liqueurs belong in the same category as the triple sec, the Italian amaro, maraschino, amaretto and various bitters. In terms of quality, they are positioned in the premium category, as they are produced with no additives, flavour enhancers, colours, essential oils or anything artificial. The finest natural ingredients, century old recipes and tested techniques guarantee that what’s inside those sturdy bottles can delight consumers all over the world.
As for the branding, Bob Studio managed to design a logo that takes four different shapes echoing each liqueur’s basic ingredient. On the bottle of Rakomelo, the word ROOTS is written inside a polygon, which resembles the shape of a honeycomb. On the bottle of Mastiha, inside a lozenge resembling mastiha’s crystal structure. On the bottle of Tentura, inside a circle similar to the cross section of cinnamon sticks. On the bottle of Herb Spirit, inside a cross symbolising the medicinal properties of the herbs used in the making.
The Smyrlakis brothers say the got interested in the liqueur sector not because they saw a niche in the market, but because they saw potential for innovation. Of course, their innovative approach is well rooted in Greek tradition, which is being reinterpreted to fit modern standards and appeal to both domestic and global markets. And they are willing to travel around the world to show that when you have to offer a top quality product, you can sure build a clientele.
Ranked among best spirits the Greek liqueur distillery has to offer, all four Finest Roots liqueurs can be consumed straight, or as part of simple long drinks and more elaborate cocktails. On the brand’s website there are recipes devised by Greek and foreign bartenders, showing there are various ways of serving and enjoying them.
* Bartender Christos Axarlis appears in the video preparing a Finest Roots cocktail.
Direction & Post Production: Alexis Skoulidis
Make‐up: Alianna Kantere
Interview & Texts: Paris Kormaris
Project Manager: Agapi Tsakpinoglou
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