Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades, is not only known for its stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and picturesque villages but also for its unique and celebrated local liquor—Kitron. This distinctive spirit, derived from the citron fruit, holds a special place in the heart of Naxos and offers a taste of the island’s rich agricultural heritage. Here’s everything you need to know about Kitron, the famous liquor of Naxos.

What is Kitron?

The Citron Fruit

Kitron is made from the leaves of the citron tree (Citrus medica), a large, fragrant citrus fruit that is similar to a lemon but larger and with a thicker rind. The citron fruit has been cultivated on Naxos for centuries and plays a vital role in the island’s agricultural economy.

The Production Process

The production of Kitron involves harvesting the citron leaves, which are then distilled to extract their essential oils. The distillate is blended with alcohol and sugar, and the mixture is aged to develop its unique flavor profile. Kitron is produced in three varieties, distinguished by their color and sweetness:

  • Green Kitron: The sweetest variety, with a lower alcohol content and a vibrant green color.
  • Yellow Kitron: The driest variety, with a higher alcohol content and a bright yellow color.
  • Clear Kitron: A balanced, semi-sweet variety, clear in color and moderate in alcohol content.

The History of Kitron

A Long-standing Tradition

The production of Kitron on Naxos dates back to the early 19th century. The island’s fertile soil and favorable climate create the perfect conditions for cultivating citron trees. Over time, the production process has been refined, and Kitron has become an integral part of Naxos’s cultural and economic landscape.

The Vallindras Distillery

The Vallindras Distillery, located in the village of Halki, is the oldest and most renowned producer of Kitron. Established in 1896, the distillery continues to produce Kitron using traditional methods passed down through generations. A visit to the Vallindras Distillery offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and craftsmanship behind this iconic Naxian spirit.

How to Enjoy Kitron

Tasting Kitron

Kitron can be enjoyed in various ways, making it a versatile addition to any occasion:

  • Neat: Sipping Kitron neat allows you to fully appreciate its complex flavors and aromatic qualities.
  • On the Rocks: Served over ice, Kitron becomes a refreshing and slightly diluted beverage, perfect for warm afternoons.
  • In Cocktails: Kitron’s unique flavor makes it an excellent ingredient in cocktails. It pairs well with other citrus flavors and can add a distinctive twist to classic drinks.

Pairing Kitron with Food

Kitron’s aromatic and slightly sweet profile makes it an excellent accompaniment to various dishes:

  • Appetizers: Pair Kitron with savory appetizers like cheese platters, olives, and cured meats.
  • Desserts: The sweetness of Kitron complements desserts such as fruit tarts, pastries, and cakes.
  • Digestif: Kitron is also enjoyed as a digestif, providing a pleasant end to a meal.

Where to Buy Kitron

Local Shops and Distilleries

While on Naxos, you can purchase Kitron from local shops, markets, and directly from distilleries like Vallindras. These establishments often offer tastings, allowing you to sample the different varieties before making your selection.

Souvenir and Gift

Kitron makes an excellent souvenir or gift, capturing the essence of Naxos’s culinary heritage. Bottles of Kitron are beautifully packaged, often adorned with traditional designs that reflect the island’s rich culture.

Kitron is more than just a liquor; it’s a symbol of Naxos’s agricultural heritage and a testament to the island’s dedication to preserving its traditions. Whether you’re a seasoned spirits enthusiast or a curious traveler looking to explore local flavors, Kitron offers a unique and memorable taste of Naxos. Be sure to sample this famous liquor during your visit, and perhaps take a bottle home to savor the spirit of Naxos long after your trip. Cheers to discovering the delightful flavors of Kitron!

No comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *