For years, the main reasons to visit Athens were: to see the historical sites, to enjoy some tasty Greek food, or to kill time before heading to one of the innumerable Greek islands for sunshine and relaxation. Yet, while most of the rest of the world was dealing with the Great Recession by staying at home and abstaining from alcohol, Athenians went out and turned their city into perhaps Europe’s greatest cocktail destination.

On this week’s episode of the VinePair podcast, Adam and Zach are joined by Nikolas Smyrlakis, co-founder of the Finest Roots line of spirits, to discuss the explosion of craft cocktail bars in Athens, his focus on indigenous Greek ingredients, and why the Athens Bar Show has become the most anticipated event on the European cocktail calendar.

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