What is Anisette Liqueur

What is Anisette Liqueur

Who would have thought that a member of the parsley family could be used to make an outstanding liqueur? Yet, anisette, which is based on the oil from anise seeds, is just that.

Popular in many European countries, such as Italy, Portugal and Spain, anisette liqueur was born in France. When it comes to making fine alcoholic beverages the French are nothing if not inventive. They created a sweet liqueur by grinding more than a dozen different types of seed into a neutral spirit. They then combined it with syrup and let it distill until it reached twenty five percent ABV or alcohol by volume.

That lower alcohol content has many advantages. While eighty proof - forty percent ABV, scotch whisky is no doubt a delight, it can be a bit much for an after dinner drink sometimes. However, wine, with only eight to twelve percent sometimes is not quite enough, as pleasant as the taste may be. Anisette comes in right down the middle to provide the perfect ending to a fine meal.

That perfect ending is possible, of course, only because anisette delivers a perfect taste for some occasions. Naturally, no one would argue too strenuously that it is only appropriate after dinner. After a hard day's work, after a vigorous horseback ride, or just after three o'clock on Saturday because you feel like it are all good times for an ounce.

If the licorice taste and fifty proof level strikes an individual as a little too strong, anisette also makes for a perfect ingredient in a mixed drink. Folks will readily appreciate some of the interesting names for cocktails made with this clear, sweet spirit.

Pre-made liqueurs like Galliano contain anisette. But a Russian Roulette or a Dubonnet Royal are more than just terrific names for a cocktail. They are a treat at any time of the day.

To make a Russian Roulette is simplicity itself.

  • Simply pour a half ounce or 15 ml of Kahlua into a liqueur glass.
  • Add half ounce of Vodka, followed by an ounce of anisette and stir gently.

Because it is a drink for individuals, preference rules in how it should be served. Some prefers room temperature while others will want it chilled to 40F/4C for about half an hour, assuming you can wait that long. Other folks will prefer it poured slowly over exactly three ice cubes in a small glass. There is nothing magic about the number of cubes, but some folks will insist on having it their own way.

Indeed, making anisette liqueur itself is not hard and the truly go-their-own-way person will regard it as an adventure.

Just gather some anise seeds from plants near the Mediterranean or if that is not feasible, just buy them. Grind them up using a pestle and mortar; making sure the oil is well spread. Pour a quart or one liter of eighty proof pure grain alcohol (or substitute Vodka) into an airtight container. Add three ounces of mashed seeds.

Seal and place in a dark, cool location for a week. Open and strain using a coffee filter.

Add two pounds or one kilogramme of sugar to a half quart or half liter of pure water and boil to make syrup. Allow cooling to room temperature and then blend the alcohol mixture in - cap and age for six months. The results may not be the best of Marie Brizard, but at least you will feel French and what could be more individualistic than that?