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Lush Guide to Metaxa (and Metaxa 12 Star)

Metaxa is the famed Greek Brandy. Every household has a bottle and it’s brought out for holidays and celebrations, and now it’s found in cocktail more and more. Metaxa 12 Star is the highest of all the Metaxa stars range. One sip and you know why!


Living with a Greek speaker in the house, summer without a dose of the Hellenic sun is almost impossible. This summer, I’ve been visiting the islands by indulging in the Greek spirits in my liquor cabinet. Right now, I am closing my eyes and seeing myself sitting in Samos savoring the sun while sipping the most famous of all the Greek spirits – Metaxa.

Are you a lover of French brandy? Well, once you’ve tasted Metaxa, you’ll might move over to a Greek one. Also you don’t just have to sip it by itself There are also so many Metaxa cocktails you can make with it. Check out more about Metxaxa.


What is Metaxa

For those of you who might not be familiar with Metaxa, this dark amber spirit is known as Greece’s answer to French cognac or brandy, but it really is in a class all its own. With a combination of aged Muscat wines from the island of Samos in the Aegean Islands, aged white wine distillates and botanicals found throughout the Mediterranean, Metaxa truly cannot be compared to any other spirit.

The legend has it that Spyros Metaxa, born in 1848 to rich Greek parents in the rag trade, travelled near and far representing the family business. After years of drinking different spirits and wines all around the world, Spyros made it his life’s work to create his own that could rival the best. In 1888, as it proudly states on the bottle, Metaxa was born and has remained popular ever since.

What is Metaxa 12 Star

Metaxa comes in many star-rated expressions . There is Metaxa 5 star, Metaxa 7 star, and Metaxa 12 star. Like whisky, the number indicates  that the youngest spirit in the bottle is 12 years old. There can be older spirits as well, but 12 is the youngest here, making it the grand-daddy of the house of Metaxa.

On the nose, you can immediately smell the roses that are one of the botanicals included. As a lover of dried apricots and figs, I am sent into bliss by my first sip. You are definitely reminded that it’s 40%ABV, but the finish is smooth and ends with a nod to the citrus family.

How does Metaxa taste

The combination of aromatic Muscat wines and Mediterranean botanicals aged in oak barrels makes for a blend of brandy that tastes like honey and rose petals!

  • Color: Deep copper like Baklava in a bottle
  • Nose: Honey, almonds
  • Taste: Stone-fruits like apricots, pears, peaches, all topped with honey. Plus a little bite to remind you it was aged
  • Finish: The rose really shows itself!
  • Alcohol: 40%

Why Lush Life loves it

As I said before, it reminds me of Greek summers all bottled up in a bottle. That rich deep color brings to mind my tan after a week on Paros island. The honey & rose sweetness of a bit of Baklava, but not so sweet that you couldn’t sip it all night!

How you drink Metaxa

Metaxa is either neat or over ice in a rocks glass, but it can definitely be used in cocktails. Some of the best international bartenders from Erik Lorincz of Kwant in London to Leo Robitschek of Nomad in New York City to Metaxa Master Constantinos Raptis are conjuring up the spirit of Greece on their cocktail menu by making signature cocktails using Metaxa. So grab a cocktail shaker and one of these fabulous cocktail recipes.

Top Tip(ple)🍸: If you love Metaxa, try other Greek Spirits! Here is a guide to Greek Liquors to help you understand your Ouzo from your Raki!

Cocktails made with Metaxa

Metaxa Cocktails

These recipes are courtesy of Metaxa and The Clumsies! Vasilis Kyritsis, my friend and co-owner of The Clumsies, one of the best cocktail bars in the World, created some amazing cocktails that are easy to make at home. Some are long drinks and some are twists on classic cocktails.

Disclaimer: Some of these posts contain affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means that I may receive compensation if you click on these links and buy something, but, don’t worry, it won’t cost you a dime!

Where you can buy Metaxa 12 Star

Metaxa Bottle

UK: You can find Metaxa 12 at Spirits Kiosk. (don’t forget to use ALushLife10SK to get 10% off! – it’s only for my readers and good on anything in their shop!

USA: You can find Metaxa on!

More Lush Guides to Liquor!

Want to know more about the spirits that go into your cocktails? Check out my Lush Guides to Liquor!

Let me know what you think of Metaxa by tagging me @alushlifemanual on instagram


Lush Guide to Metaxa - pin

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