There is an old saying in Greece..“when you smell rakokazano, winter is coming”. Rakokazano or Charani in Greek is the wood-fired kettle used to distill grapes and produce Raki, a strong alcoholic spirit, much needed during the harsh winters on the Aegean islands. This traditional extraction process, known as Rakitzo, has been used all over the Mediterranean region for nearly 2,000 years. The KORRES rakokazano story begins in the middle of the 19th century with the great great grandfather of George Korres, Ioannis. It was then passed on from generation to generation ending up in the hands of George’s grandfather, the last to honour the family tradition of raki distilling. Eventually the rakokazano got lost only to be rediscovered by a Korres family member who still lives on the island of Naxos and arranged for it to ‘travel’ to Athens.
Ever since its return to the family ‘home’ the rakokazano is on display in George’s office; for George, the rakokazano tradition links back to the first KORRES product he has created, an aromatic cough-relieving syrup with honey and aniseed. Still a best-seller after all these years, that syrup was inspired by Rakomelo, the warming concoction of Raki and Honey which George’s grandfather used to make in his village, Skado of Naxos, and offering it to underage (!) George as a cold remedy in the winter days. For George the Rakokazano also symbolizes the exemplary, eco-certified organic plant extraction that KORRES has developed; the team traveled literally across the world to assess the contemporary plant extraction ‘know-how’ available and ended up designing in cooperation with the University a first-for-Greece unit combining various technologies, another testament to the brand’s obsession with quality and attentiveness to the smallest of details. These strong associations have led George to depict it as a symbol, featured today on the brand’s packaging.