Greece is one of those magical places that evokes an incredibly special feeling from simply from looking at imagery of its splendor. For centuries, the beauty, culture, and wonders of Greece have captivated the world and inspired artistry in all walks of life. So it’s only natural that the spirit of Greece, METAXA 12 Stars has been infiltrating the bar world and is increasingly garnering attention from the industry.
To launch the METAXA 12 Stars in the U.S., the brand enlisted the very best from their homeland by bringing The Clumsies over to New York City’s famed Dante for an epic one night only bar takeover.
Vasilis Kyritsis (The Clumsies) teamed up with Naren Young (Dante) to create a cocktail menu that honored the elegance of METAXA with twists on classics. The cocktails were representative of The Clumsies x Dante mash-up while honoringMETAXA 12 Stars as the base and really letting it shine.
The bar takeover followed a METAXA Masterclass at Employees Only, enlisting yet another one of the world’s top bars for the launch. Vasilis and Naren served up several offerings that brilliantly reflected the collaboration – METAXA Spritz, Greek Martini, El Greco and, since it is Dante, an Athenian Negroni.
Naren Young + Vasilis Kyritsis
We chatted with METAXA director Stephanie Ancel about the brand, the launch and how to enjoy this super special spirit.
Metaxa 12 Stars U.S. Launch
What makes METAXA 12 Stars so special?
“METAXA 12 Stars was created in 2011 by Constantinos Raptis, the fifth Metaxa Master to offer a journey through the senses with a mature and distinctive character,” explains Ancel. “Starting with the Greek origin and the long heritage of the House, since its creation in 1888 by Spyros Metaxa, the marriage of Samos Muscat wines, aged wine distillates and the Mediterranean botanicals is unique in the world of spirits.”
Why did you decide on right now to launch METAXA 12 Stars in the U.S.?
“Today, in the USA, clients are looking for crafted products with singularities, searching for new experiences. That’s what METAXA offers,” says Ancel. “American clients are looking for authenticity and craftsmanship, which truly resonates with the House of Metaxa.”
The cocktail culture, Ancel continues “is booming in the world and especially in the USA with some of the best cocktail bars in the world such as Dante in NYC, Broken Shaker in Miami, Gung Ho in Dallas and PCH in San Francisco. METAXA 12 Stars is the perfect spirit to create Signature cocktails, thanks to its distinctive character and versatility.”
How did you link up with The Clumsies?
“The Clumsies is the leading high-end bar in Greece, listed 7th best bar in the world and the bartending team is known for its creativity and spectacular cocktail sessions with some of the best international bartenders on the scene,” Ancel says. “The partnership between METAXA and The Clumsies came naturally as we have so much in common. In addition to a strong attachment to our Greek roots and soul, we share the same vision: revealing the authenticity of the Original Greek Spirit to the world by bringing alive our passion for unique drinking experiences. We want to keep spreading the word about Greek bar culture and expand the drinking experience and its attractiveness in Greece and beyond!”
You are partnering with some of the top bars in America – Dante, Sweet Liberty, Employee Only, why was that important for the brand?
“Spirits as unique as METAXA can initially be difficult to understand,” admits Ancel. “Collectif 1806 firmly believes it’s when bartenders wrap their arms around such an expression and become ambassadors themselves, that is when a greater understanding begins to come to fruition.”
METAXA, she explains “is a one-of-a-kind Greek spirit and has a place in the premium spirits category. For the launch of METAXA 12 Stars, it was obvious for Collectif 1806 to have bartenders, from NYC to Miami, Dallas to San Francisco discover this new expression.”
“METAXA 12 Stars, thanks to its distinctive character and versatility is the spirit of reference to create Signature cocktails and has gained recognition from the top bartenders in the world, such as Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis of The Clumsies in Athens, 7th World Best Bar, Leo Robitschek from NoMad in NYC, 4th World Best Bar, Erik Lorincz former head bartender of the Savoy American Bar in London, 2nd World Best Bar or Kostas Ignatiadis from The Schumann Bar in Munich.”
“Partnering with bars such as Dante, Sweet Liberty or Employee Only is an honor for METAXA 12 Stars,” says Ancel.
The Brandy category has been really gaining momentum, tell us a bit about your experience with this through Metaxa?
“METAXA is a one-of-a-kind amber spirit and can not be classified as a brandy,” Ancel explains. “In general, the amber spirits category has been gaining momentum recently through upscaling and clients looking for singular products. METAXA 12 Stars with its unique origin and craftsmanship, intense smoothness and “premiumness” fits perfectly with the current expectations of clients and talented bartenders.”
How do you best recommend enjoying METAXA 12 Stars?
Ancel says: “METAXA 12 Stars’ mature and distinctive character is best explored neat or on a single rock. Bartenders enjoy offering it in Signature Cocktails.”
For more information visit www.metaxa.com and @metaxa.official
Here is a little taste of what went down in New York City when The Clumsies took over Dante for the U.S. Launch of METAXA 12 Stars.
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