Zivania or zivana (Greekζιβανία, ζιβάνα)[1] is a Cypriot pomace brandy produced from the distillation of a mixture of grape pomace and local dry wines made from Xynisteri and Mavro grapes.[2]Zivania is colourless and alcoholic with a light aroma of raisins. Its alcohol content varies, with 45% by volume being the typical value. Zivania contains no sugars and has no acidity.

The production of zivania starts with the pressing of mature healthy grapes to produce must. The density of the grape must is then checked with a Baumé hydrometer to ensure it has a density value of less than 13° Baumé. This is necessary for the must to achieve complete and proper fermentation. The grape must, together with pomace, are then placed in large containers and let to ferment. Traditionally, the must-pomace mixture was placed in large clay containers (pithosGreekπιθάρι). As soon as the fermentation process completes (i.e. the fermented must is checked to have a value of less or equal to 0° Baumé), the fermented must-pomace mixture is transferred to the main container of the still (kazani, Greekκαζάνι) for the distillation.


The still is called lampikos (Greekλαμπίκος) in the Greek dialect of Cyprus. In some villages of Cyprus, a single lampikos was usually shared and used by all of the villagers. It is noteworthy that zivania stills are similar to those used for tsikoudia in Crete.

Once the main container of the still is hermetically shut, fire is set under it. The fire is monitored and maintained in order to produce constant heat. The first zivania that comes from the still has the highest alcohol content, while the last taken out of the apparatus has a low alcohol content and it is called porakos (Greekπόρακος).



Depending on the pre-distillation mixture, different qualities of zivania are produced:

  • Zivania produced using only wine for the distillation
  • Zivania produced using wine and pomace for the distillation
  • Zivania produced using pomace, water and weak zivania


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