A first of its kind, Axia is an extra-dry and refreshing mastiha, a spirit distilled from the resin of the Mastiha tree, found on the Greek island of Chios. It is a versatile spirit with an authentic flavour profile with vibrant citrus and vegetal notes and is delicious served neat, on the rocks or in cocktails. Tony Chvala is at the forefront of bringing Axia to the world as the CEO.
Hailing from Miami, Tony now brings his 20 years of experience of consumer marketing to the Axia brand. We caught up with Tony to talk about all things Axia.
What actually is Axia?
Our two co-founders with a 350-year combined family history in the spirits business came together with the goal of introducing a new white-base spirit. Over three years of development and a multitude of iterations, Axia was born.
My goal is to bring a Greek brand/spirit to the international stage that has a unique, refreshing, and premium taste profile to the masses. This is not a traditional Mastiha (sweet liqueur), rather it is an extra dry and 40% ABV. We have created a new category that competes with gin, vodka, and tequila.
Tell us about Axia and what makes this Mastiha special?
Axia is a spirit that is changing the way mixologists think about cocktails. It is a premium spirit that adds a unique flavor profile to your usual cocktail by substituting Axia in lieu of the other base. Making Axia a truly versatile alternative to many spirits.
What makes Greece a unique place to produce quality spirits?
Axia is double-distilled on the island of Lesvos with our partner distiller, Plomari. The mastic crystals are only farmed on the island of Chios, which is in very close proximity to the distillery. Axia is produced using traditional alembic copper stills for distillation at 80C, whose size and shape were carefully calibrated to deliver a unique sensory experience in the final distillate – layered complexity, velvety textures, and delicate balance. We are able to unlock a range of flavour components in Mastiha by macerating the crystals, as the process lifts and refines different characteristics found within the resin.
What food works well with Axia?
For over two thousand years, this ancient crystal was used to richly flavour meals and treated numerous maladies. Mastiha is a rare, versatile and sustainable ingredient whose authentic character cannot be replicated.
Mastiha has been used to flavour savouries and pastries for millennia, and Axia represents an evolutionary leap for this extraordinary ingredient. In traditional Greek cuisine as well as contemporary culinary culture, Mastiha is used across the spectrum of gastronomy, from bread-baking and patisserie to meat and fish marinades and rubs.
What does it actually taste like?
The result for Axia is an extra dry, yet unusually complex and nuanced — a whole forest of aromas on the nose, brightened by more delicate scents of fresh cut grass, rose water and dried orange peels. On the palate, earthy pine and cedar are balanced with velvety bergamot, cypress, and citrus notes.
What kind of cocktails does Axia work well in?
The main serves are an Axia & Tonic, Axia Bloody Mary, and the Axia margarita.
It’s very versatile and is used to make a varied number of cocktails such as the Martini, Paloma, Moscow Mule, Axia Sour, Greek 75 (a twist on the French 75), and even a white Negroni.
If you could award a Michelin star for mixology right now, who would it be to and why?
That’s an almost an impossible question to answer. The reason being is that we have positioned Axia in what I would consider Michelin premium cocktail bars. Each one putting a unique twist on an Axia Spirit from the Blue Bar, Silverleaf, the Donovan B
ar (to name a few in London), to Clumsies and the Line Bar in Athens.
What is next for Axia?
Our goal for Axia is to continue increasing brand awareness and building out this new category on an international scale. We are very focused on our current markets in the US, UK, Greece, and Monaco to ensure the brand gains momentum prior to further market expansion. The spirit has won over 17 international spirit competition awards and continues to be a breakthrough favorite among customers in our current markets.
To discover more, visit: axiaspirit.com
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All imagery courtesy of Axia Spirit / Tony Chvala.