ΤHE ZIVANIA ALEMBICS
The Alembic apparatus, consists of a bronze cauldron in which a mixture of pressed grape skins, stalks and pips (the zivana) boil, a heavy semi spherical lid made of metal and fired clay, a long tube passing through a large jar filled with cold water, and a vase for collecting the eau de vie.
The Alembic is usually placed on a simple hearth outdoors. Zivania, the strong eau de vie, is produced from the distillation of fermented grape pulp discarded during the wine making process. The steam from the boiling zivana escapes through the tube, which is immersed in cold water. It is thus condensed and Zivania is collected in a jug placed at the end of the tube.
Zivania (also known as Fire water) is a spirit of around 40%-50% alcohol volume. It is a clear spirit usually sipped very cold. For generations Zivania has been used for its healing properties; even today many Cypriots will tell you that their Grandmothers consider Zivania to be the cure for all ailments.