Pastis was created as a replacement for the once-illegal absinthe, also a spirit strongly flavored with anise. The pastis of France belongs to an extended family of anise-flavored drinks popular around the Mediterranean, including sambuca, ouzo, arak, rakı, and mastika. The word pastis, from the Occitan spoken in southern France, means “mash-up.” While pastis is an interesting addition to cocktails (see Picadura of May 26, 2014), it is a delightful aperitif, served simply with water and ice. As the water is added, the yellowish liqueur turns an opaque milky white.
1 ounce pastis
Put a couple of ice cubes in a small stemless aperitif or small low-ball glass. Pour in the pastis. Top with about 3 to 4 ounces of water.
Want to know more? Absinthe
Tasting notes: Even if you don’t like licorice (suggested by the anise) you may love this delightful, herbal drink, refreshing on warm days or after a meal. Your water source influences the taste, so stay with a neutral, pleasant flat water.
Tomorrow: Jewel of the Nile
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