On the Greek island of Chios, trees weep. These "tears" are piney-smelling, gummy mastic resin, which drips down from small slashes locals cut into the bark. Once wounded, the mastic trees release a sticky, gluey sap, which hardens into parchment-colored teardrops, then drop like small, fragrant pebbles to the ground, where harvesters collect them. Greeks use mastic as a flavoring for sweet and savory food, and as a natural chewing gum. But arguably the most delicious use of mastic is also the most intoxicating: Distilled with sugar into a woodsy liqueur, mastic becomes Chios mastiha.

Floral and fresh, mastiha combines a spicy, syrupy sweetness with a touch of pine and slight alcoholic burn. Chios locals serve it mostly as a dessert liqueur, but outside the island, it's made its way onto bar menus as an aperitif and a creative cocktail ingredient.

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