Anise-Flavored Liqueurs like absinthe, are a kind of liquor sharing many common characteristics. Anisette was another option for Absinthe lovers who could not drink Absinthe due to legality issues with associated health risks from wormwood. Many of the popular brands on the market include Marie Brizzard, Hiram Walker, and Dukuyper. Anisette is associated with France and other Anise flavored drinks include Ouzo from Greece and Sambuca from Italy.
Anise LIqueur Around the World
Anisette is made, as its name suggests, from star anise, which gives the bitter flavor to black licorice. This distilled liqueur is colorless, and it is used in many cocktails and even coffee. Anisette is considered an aperitif and it is popular among the Mediterranean region. Anisette is very popular in baking and is added to many cake and cookie recipes. There are many ways to consume this beverage, from neat with ice or mixed in other beverages.
Arak is a spirit from the Middle East made from Anise. It is best enjoyed mixed with water (2 parts water for each part Arak) and served over ice in small glasses. Arak from Iran is made without Anise, but has a stronger alcohol content.
Ouzo is a Greek liqueur made from grapes and anise. It is an aperitif, meant to stimulate the appetite before a meal, and it is often flavored with herbs such as coriander, clove, cinnamon and angelica. Like other beverages with anise, it becomes cloudy and aromatic when water is added. Ouzo is popular throughout Greek culture, where it is served in restaurants and cafes across the country. Ouzo is usually consumed with ice or a splash of water. It pairs well with appetizers like olives, light seafood, and cheese. Be careful when enjoying Ouzo. Its sweetness can mask the alcohol content and you may find you have had too much before you know it!
Sambuca is an anise-flavored colorless liqueur originally from Italy. The most common variety is white Sambuca, as compared to red or black. Because it is made by adding anise oil and sugar to pure alcohol, sambuca can contain as much as 42% alcohol/volume. Sambuca is a very flexible liqueur. It is often drunk neat, or mixed with coffee in an Ammazzacaffe. It also has many uses in baking and cooking. One popular way to drink sambuca is to light it on fire to crystallize some of the sugar content, then blow it out quickly and drink it while it's still warm.