Taste of Greece

Since going on a trip of a lifetime to Greece last September, there have been a number of “reunion” get-togethers to maintain the bonds formed on the trip and celebrate various occasions (see my last post regarding our “Crete-mas” party). This occasion is to bid a fond farewell to Art (the birthday boy on said trip) and Marty who are departing NYC for the simple life in Portland, OR.

Ouzo was in order for our Greek-inspired potluck farewell. An anise-flavored aperitif, ouzo is widely consumed in Greece. It is often mixed with a little water or ice wherein it will turn cloudy and maybe a little blue. In this case, it’s been mixed with gelatin and turned into a jello shot with alternating white and blue layers to represent the Greek flag.

You have to love licorice to love this jello shot and, even though sweetened condensed milk and a bit of lemon juice takes some of the bite out the flavor, ouzo is not for everyone. Art, for example, despite being Greek himself, does not like Ouzo… and don’t listen to Marty, they do not taste like sushi!

Good luck Art & Marty! I’ll be out to visit soon!



6 tablespoons (6 envelopes) unflavored gelatin powder
3 cups cold water
2 cups sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups ouzo
1/4 cup lemon juice
4-8 drops blue food coloring


In a medium saucepan, sprinkle the 6 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin over 3 cups of cold water. Allow the gelatin to soak for 2-3 minutes, then begin to heat on medium bring the mixture just to boil, stirring constantly until gelatin is fully dissolved. Remove saucepan from heat and pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, Ouzo, and lemon juice. Divide the mixture evenly between two separate bowls (about 3 1/4 cup each) and stir the blue food colorings into one of the bowls.

Pour the white mixture into an 11X7 or equivalent sized baking dish. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes, checking it often, until the gelatin is set but not completely firm – the gelatin should stick to your finger when touched.

Gently spoon the blue mixture into pan over the white. Again, refrigerate for about 10 minutes, checking it often, until the gelatin is set but not completely firm – again, the gelatin should stick to your finger when touched.

Repeat this process twice more for the white, then blue layers. Refrigerate overnight until firm.

Dip the pan in warm (not hot) for 10 to 15 seconds to loosen the gelatin. Cut into rectangles. If you’re feeling ambitious, cut strips of white from the trimming at the edge of the pan to make the white crosses of the Greek flag on the top of the pieces. And serve.

About Victoria Belanger

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