Bartending/Alcohol/Anise liqueur

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Anise liqueurs have a predominately anise, also known as "licorice," taste. It is commonly derived from aniseed, although it can also come from star anise, fennel, or licorice, all of which have a similar taste, though none are related. Many anise-flavored liqueurs will turn a milky white when cold water is added. Anethole and other oils in these liqueurs are soluble in alcohol but not in water. When water is added the oils come out of solution and form tiny droplets that cloud the drink. Although ice-cold water is often used, it is not recommended to add ice to the drink first or to put anise liqueurs in the freezer, as anethole has a high freezing point, causing it to crystallize and form a skin on its surface.

Though anise-flavored liquors are generally referred to as liqueurs, several contain no sugar and are thus spirits, including arak, raki, and absinthe.

Absinthe[edit]

Absinthe-original.jpg
70% ABV (140º proof)
Origin: Switzerland
Flavor: Wormwood and anise
Appearance: Green

Absinthe is a high-proof, anise-flavored liquor made by distilling herbs, including anise, fennel and grand wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). It should be noted that absinthe is not a liqueur but a spirit, as it does not contain sugar. It is included here as it is relates to several anise-flavored liqueurs such as Herbsaint and pastis. The distillate is either colored with additional herbs--giving it its famous green color, artificially colored, or left clear. Originally created in Switzerland, it's most known as a popular drink in France.

Absinthe is typically served by slowly adding three to five parts ice-cold water to one part absinthe. This causes the drink to "louche" and turn a cloudy white. Often a specially designed slotted spoon is placed over the glass and a sugar cube set on top. The water is poured over the cube, dissolving it and sweetening the drink.

In cocktails and other mixed drinks, owing to its very pronounced anise flavor, absinthe is generally used in much smaller proportions compared to other spirits. In most cases it is used similarly to a bitters, in dashes or as a rinse.

Absinthe was banned in a number of countries during the early twentieth century because of the supposed danger of poisoning, leading to such symptoms as convulsions, mental deterioration and death. These effects were attributed initially to wormwood itself, and later believed to be caused by the toxic compound thujone, a constituent of wormwood oil. The ban was recently lifted in most countries including the US, allowing its production and sale once again, but manufacturers in Europe are required to comply with European Union laws on thujone levels.[1]

Aguardiente[edit]

Aguardiente winechateau.jpg
29-45% ABV (58-90º proof)
Origin: Latin America
Flavors: Various - myrtle, morello cherry, mint, anise among others
Appearance: Varies depending on content

In Colombia it is a 29% ABV anise-flavored liqueur made from sugarcane and aniseed. By varying the amount of aniseed used, different flavors can be created, leading to heavy competition between brands. In Mexico it is a mixed drink, containing rum and mezcal.

Anis del Toro[edit]

Patxaran casero.jpg
Spanish for "The bull's anise". It was discussed in Ernest Hemingway's works, "Hills Like White Elephants" and "The Sun Also Rises".


Anisette[edit]

Anisette mb bevmax.jpg
25% ABV (50º proof)
Origin: Italy and France
Flavor: Aniseed and other aromatics.
Appearance: Clear and colorless.
A sweet aniseed-flavored liqueur that is typically 25% ABV. It is often used to flavor a shot of espresso, along with a lemon peel twist.

Arak[edit]

Arak wardy missionliquor.jpg
53-60% or more (106-120º proof)
Origin: Middle-East
Flavor: Aniseed
Appearance: Clear and colorless.

Arak is a strong, clear Middle Eastern liquor. It is made by distilling wine which is then mixed with aniseed and distilled a second time. It is traditionally an aperitif prepared by adding water and then ice, and is often accompanied by mezze.

Galliano[edit]

Galliano.jpg
30% ABV (60º proof)
Origin: Italy
Flavor: Mildly herbal and fruity
Appearance: Yellow
Created by an Italian distiller in 1896, Galliano is a 30% ABV liqueur made from exotic herbs such as star anise and vanilla.


Herbsaint[edit]

Herbsaint oxygenee.jpg
45% ABV (90º proof)
Origin: New Orleans, USA
Flavor: Anise
Appearance:

Herbsaint was created by Reginald Parker and J.M. Legendre from New Orleans. While in France during World War I they learned how to make absinthe which was banned not long after the start of the war. After the repeal of prohibition Legendre used his knowledge to create Herbsaint as an absinthe substitute. The Sazarac company bought his company in 1948 and kept the recipe the same until the 1970s when the proof was lowered, and artificial coloring was added.

Mastika[edit]

MastichatoDrink.jpg
45% ABV (90º proof)
Origin: Bulgarian and skopje
Flavor: Anise
Appearance:

The national drink of Bulgaria and skopje, Mastika is created using a base similar to brandy that is flavored with anise. It is bottled at 45% ABV and is prepared in a manner similar to Arak.

Oghi[edit]

Patxaran casero.jpg
53% ABV (106º proof)
Origin: Armenia
Flavor: Anise, or mulberry (tutti oghi), or cherry (honi oghi).
Appearance: Varies with flavoring

Ouzo[edit]

Ouzo argonautliquor.jpg
40% ABV (80º proof)
Origin: Greece
Flavor: Anise
Appearance: Clear and colorless

Pastis[edit]

Pastis1.jpg
40-45% ABV (80-90º proof)
Origin: France
Flavor: Anise
Appearance: Yellow

Pastis is an anise-flavored liqueur and apéritif from France, typically containing 40–45% alcohol by volume, although there exist Ethanol|alcohol-free varieties.

When absinthe was banned in France in 1915, the major absinthe producers (then Pernod and Ricard, who have since merged as Pernod Ricard) reformulated their drink without the banned wormwood component, a heavier focus on the aniseed flavor using more star anise, sugar and a lower alcohol content creating pastis, which remains popular in France today. Pastis has changed considerably since its first creation based on market preference.

Pastis is normally diluted with water before drinking (generally five volumes of water for one volume of pastis). The resulting decrease in alcohol percentage causes some of the constituents to become insoluble, which changes the liqueur's appearance from dark transparent yellow to milky soft yellow. The drink is consumed cold, with ice, and is considered a refreshment for hot days. Ice cubes can be added after the water to avoid crystallization of the anethol in the pastis. However, many pastis drinkers refuse to add ice, preferring to drink the beverage with cool spring water.

Although it is consumed throughout France, especially in the summer, pastis is generally associated with southeastern France, especially with the city of Marseilles, and with the clichés of the Provençal lifestyle, like pétanque.

Patxaran, Patcharan[edit]

Patxarana prodspain.jpg
25-30% ABV (50-60º proof)
Origin: Basque country
Flavor: Aniseed, sloe, coffee, vanilla.
Appearance:

Patxaran, ('patcharan' in Spanish), is created in Navarre where an anisette liqueur is flavored mainly with sloe berries as well as coffee beans and vanilla pods.

Raki[edit]

Raki02.JPG
45-50% ABV (90-100º proof)
Origin: Turkey (Turkish rakı)
Flavor: Anise
Appearance: Clear, colorless

Salmiakkikossu[edit]

Salmiakki Koskenkorva02.jpg
40% ABV (80º proof)
Origin: Finland
Flavor: Liquorice
Appearance:

A pre-mixed cocktail, which became popular in Finland during the 1990s, consisting of vodka mixed with ground up, Turkish Pepper brand, salty liquorice.

Sambuca[edit]

Sambuca White[edit]

Sambuca Molinari drinkupny.jpg
40% ABV (80º proof)
Origin: Italy
Flavor: Anise
Appearance: Clear and colorless.

Sambuca Black[edit]

Sambuca opal-nera-Ff.jpg
40% ABV (80º proof)
Origin: Italy
Flavor: Anise
Appearance: Blue

Tsipouro[edit]

Tsipouro greekwines.JPG
40% ABV (80º proof)
Origin: Greece
Flavor: Anise or plain
Appearance: Clear and colorless

Xtabentún[edit]

Xtabentún argonaut.jpg
40% ABV (80º proof)
Origin: Mexico
Flavor: Rum, anise and xtabentun
(Rivea corymbosa)[2] honey
Appearance: Yellow

References[edit]

  1. THUJONE - Separating Myth from Reality, by Ian Hutton
  2. Wikipedia - Rivea corymbosa