Dinapoja cottage industry in Heraklion, Crete, produces liqueur and syrups.
The story behind Dinapoja is the personal story of Kaiti Dinapoja whose life changed without a warning in her early fifties. It was two personal unfortunate events that urged Kaiti to make a drastic change in her life.
“If you are 50 years old facing serious health problems and you get a divorce, if you lose a prosperous life and all of a sudden you realize that you haven’t got a penny in your pocket, well, you definitively need to do something, you definitively need to move heaven and earth to stand on your own feet”.
Kaiti gave a literal meaning to this idiom. Indeed, Kaiti explored the Cretan land, its mountains and glens, and collected all the flowers, aromatic herbs offered by the Cretan nature reaping also the benefits of Cretan fruits. In the end, she set up a workshop, in order to offer everything she harvests ready to drink and enjoy in a glass!
“It’s no coincidence that the words cordial – that means tending to revive, invigorate – or digestive are used to describe liqueurs”, says Kaiti.
Dinapoja liqueurs are made of orange, myrtle, pomegranate and chili, rose geranium, sage, citrus chili and honey. Lately, Dinapoja company launched a liqueur with olive that has been welcomed with great enthusiasm.
Contrary to the standard practice of using colorants, all syrups prepared by Kaiti are made of natural aromas and colors coming from locally grown flowers and herbs. Diluted 1:5 with water or mineral water, Champaign or white wine, syrups can be consumed as beverages, while they can also be used in cocktails.
Kaiti Dinapoja is a woman of infinite enthusiasm and relentless creativity.
Shrub is her latest find. Shrub, the term derives from sharab– the Arab word for syrup-, is a uniquely refreshing fruit and herb vinegar based syrup.
This natural vinegar syrup can be used in many ways. Dilute it with water to get a lovely refreshing drink. Use it also as cocktail basis, a popular choice lately. In the kitchen, Shrub can be used as salad dressing, sauce or meat marinade.
Up until now, Kaiti used to participate in trade shows alone. She did everything herself; from production, packaging, labeling, sales, product lists to the company’s website (her website is truly amazing). Recently, Kaiti launched a cooperation with Giorgos Koutsoupias, owner of a wine house with a comprehensive wine collection in Heraklion (www.oinoteka.gr), who is now her commercial agent. Good luck everyone!