|Country of origin||Bulgaria|
|Region of origin||Chios|
|Alcohol by volume||>15% or 47%|
|Colour||transparent crystal clear to yellowish|
|Ingredients||water, alcohol, sugar, mastic|
Mastika or mastiha is a liqueur seasoned with mastic, a resin with a slightly pine or cedar-like flavor gathered from the mastic tree, a small evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region. In Greece, mastiha (Greek: μαστίχα) or mastichato (Greek: μαστιχάτο) is a sweet liqueur produced with the mastika resin from the Greek island of Chios, which is distilled after hardening to crystals. Sugar is typically added. It is a sweet liqueur that is typically consumed at the end of a meal. It has a distinctive flavor, reminiscent of pine and herbs. It is claimed to have medicinal properties and to aid digestion.
In August of 2012, wildfires spread across the island of Chios, scorching 31,480 acres of land, and destroying more than half of the island's mastic orchards. Because the product has a “protected designation of origin” from the European Union, the fire not only impacted local Chios farmers, who lost approximately 60 percent of their crops, but also derailed the global supply of the product.
Chios Mastiha Liqueur (Greek: Μαστίχα Χίου, Greek pronunciation: [masˈtixa ˈçi.u]) is a liqueur flavoured with mastic distillate or mastic oil from the island of Chios. The name Chios Mastiha has protected designation of origin status in the European Union. Chios Mastiha liqueur is clear with a sweet aroma. It is traditionally served cold.
The process is regulated by Greek law and includes the flavouring of alcohol with mastic oil by agitation or the distillation of mastic with alcohol. The solution is then diluted with water and sweetened with sugar. The final alcoholic strength by volume of Chios Mastiha must be at least 15%.
Main article: Mastic (plant resin)
The only flavouring agents used in Chios Mastiha liqueur are an alcoholic distillate of mastic or mastic oil made from Chios mastic. Mastic is the hardened sap harvested from the mastic tree, Pistacia lentiscus var chia, a small evergreen shrub that grows on rocky terrain on the southern part of the island. Chios mastic is certified by the Agricultural Products Certification and Supervision Organization as part of the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food. The island's mastic production is controlled by a co-operative of medieval villages, the Mastichochoria.
Mastic has been harvested for at least 2,500 years since Greek antiquity. The first mention of actual mastic 'tears' was by Hippocrates. Hippocrates used mastic for the prevention of digestive problems, colds and as a breath freshener. Roman emperors used mastic along with honey, pepper, and egg in the spiced wine conditum paradoxum. Digestive liqueurs, similar to Mastiha but made with grapes, were known as the Greek elixirs before the French Revolution.
Greek writer and journalist Zoe Rapti, released a novel titled "Έρωτας με Λικέρ Μαστίχα" (Love with Mastic Liqueur), in 2013. The book is in development to become a film. Attached composers are the Spanomarkou Sisters (Areti & Ioanna Spanomarkou), whose paternal grandmother was born in Chios.