Where to Drink in Naxos Town: Like Home Bar
On our recent trip to the island of Naxos, we spent most of our time on the beach, there being so many beautiful ones to choose from. We designated one of our days, though, village and town day. We took a drive up the mountain to the inviting town of Halki, nestled in a high valley. We wandered the neighboring olive groves, browsed the shops, visited a distillery we’ll certainly tell you about one day, and ate our largest of our many hearty meals at the taverna whose patio doubles as the town square.
Our next stop was the mountaintop village of Apeiranthos, with its narrow and winding pedestrian-only, marble-paved streets. At first, we reveled in the quiet, the quaint little streets, and the dramatic views of the valley floor suddenly at our feet when we turned a corner. Then we got lost in that warren of little pedestrian streets, for longer than would seem possible in such a tiny village. By the time we finally found our way to our car in the lot just outside of town, all we noticed was just how hilly the town was.
We made our way from Apeiranthos to Naxos’ main town Chora. The idea was to end the day with dinner overlooking the harbor, but we weren’t remotely hungry yet. So, we made the ill-fated decision to wander around town for a while. Like in Apeiranthos, the streets of Chora are stone-paved, pedestrian-only paths on a hill. For the most part, we adored how walkable–in fact, completely cut off to cars–the island villages and even the center of Athens were. It was so calm, and quiet, and leisurely paced. However, when we got lost a second time, our appreciation dimmed. We circled the town twice trying to find our way into the Venetian neighborhood (Naxos had been part of the Venetian empire for about 300 years), only catching the barest glimpse of one palazzo. What should have been the charming warren of tiny streets in the old Greek town instead felt designed just to frustrate us.
Exhausted, we needed a place to sit–and to get a drink. Luckily, we were able to navigate ourselves back to the place where we’d seen all of the bars earlier. We chose Like Home for its decor and its view of the harbor.
What We Ordered
Courtyard: red berry infused gin, lemon cream, cardamon, and aromatic bitters
What We Thought
A light drink and served on crushed ice, with its combination of citrus and spices, it reminded us a bit of Hemingway’s tiki style gin drink, Green Isaac’s Special. Simple and pleasing, it was perfect for cooling down and soaking in the harbor view. As we finished our drink, we resolved two things: 1) it was time to return to the beach; and 2) we should experiment more with taking gin in a tiki direction.
Pink and Blue Cocktail Recipe
We stuck with Like Home’s idea of infusing the gin with berries, thinking that it was a good way to bring in some round, fruitiness while keeping the palate light. We lightened the citrus from the normal in a tiki drink, thinking that too much would simply make it a sour. For our spice of choice, we went with nutmeg instead of cardamom. And to add a little silkiness, and of course that licorice flavor, we added a touch of anise liqueur.
- 2 oz blueberry-infused gin*
- 1/4 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1/2 tsp absinth
- scant dash of Angostura bitters
- fresh grated nutmeg
- Add all ingredients but nutmeg into a cocktail shaker.
- Fill with ice above the level of the liquid.
- Shake for 20 seconds.
- Pour into a highball glass.
- Add more ice if needed.
- Garnish with nutmeg.
- Pour however much gin you think you will want infused into a mason jar or small bottle with a wide neck.
- Add 3 or 4 berries per ounce of gin.
- Let sit for at least three days.