On July 2nd we observe National Anisette Day. Anisette is an anise-flavored liqueur that is made by distilling aniseed and sometimes adding a sugar syrup. Anisette is popular in Spain, Italy, Portugal and France.
Pure Anisette should not be drunk straight as its alcoholic content is high enough to cause irritation to the throat. However, mixing it in with coffee, gin, bourbon or water will bring out a bit of a sweet flavor. To enjoy this sweetness without drinking, you can make Anisette cookies!
If you are one to grab all of the black jelly beans at Easter, you will surely enjoy this day and the drink that makes it unique, Anisette. Although Anisette does not contain licorice, it does have that sort of distinct flavor.
Like absinthe, anisette is created by distilling aniseed, the seed of the anise plant, it is a cousin to both the more well-known absinthe and pastis, but stands apart by including licorice root extract. One popular brand of anisette is Sambuca and stands apart from its fellow anisettes by requiring a sugar content of at least 350g/l. It holds in common with other flavored liquors that it is not typically drunk straight, but instead is commonly mixed in with other liquids for consumption. One common mix for this alcohol is known as a palomita, and is simply anisette mixed into pure cold water.
- This herb is native to Egypt and is mentioned in ancient Egyptian records. The Romans used it in medicine and also in a cake which was possibly the forerunner of the wedding cake.
- Anise comes as an extract and lozenges and in teas.
- It produces seeds that are used in both herbal medicine and aromatherapy.
- This sweet smelling herb is also commonly used to flavor foods and liqueurs such as anisette and ouzo.
- Anise has been used for many years to disguise the unpleasant taste of medicine.
- Aniseed is also called Anise, Anisum, Anisum vulgare, Anisi fructus, and sweet cumin.
- Aniseed is an annual flowering plant. It grows up to a height of about 18 inches to 2 feet. The plant has various types of leaves from feathery to heart-shaped, round, serrate and petiolated. They are broader at the base and become narrower and thinner at the tip. The creamy whiteflowers, approximately 3mm in diameter, are clustered together along a long stalk. The fruit of the plant is covered with short hairs, it is an inch long and dull brown in color.
- Legendre Anisette was mentioned in the inaugural 1934 Herbsaint recipe booklet, as an ingredient in The Herbsaint cocktail.
- Anisette is most often served with just a bit of water, but you can shake it up with gin and cream and an egg white for a Café de Paris cocktail, or stir it with bourbon and bitters for a New Orleans.