Classic French Anise
Anise is an annual plant long cultivated for its aromatic and medicinal qualities and one of the herbs that was supposed to avert the evil eye. Absinthe is perhaps the most notorious liqueur produced from anise. Absinthe hit its peak during the years from 1880-1914, a period considered to be the “great collective binge” for absinthe, and an era of inspiration and daring, was associated with the artistic life and was even used as an aphrodisiac. Banned in the states in 1912, interest in absinthe remained very high and beverages were developed as substitutes, similar in taste but lower in alcohol and produced without wormwood. Known by such names as anis or anisette, pastis, ouzo, or raki, absinthe-style liqueurs have seen a resurgence in use.
Pastis is a strong local favorite in the south of France. From its original home in Marseille, the popularity of Pastis has spread throughout Provence and the Riviera, connecting friends throughout small cafes in the region. Prince Pastis is smooth and very full flavored, with a very refreshing edge, excellent in the summertime.
The liqueur that we call pastis is the direct descendant of the infamous absinthe, the controversial spirit of Paris in the 1890s. The flavor comes from licorice and seeds of the star anise plant, an important ingredient in Absinthe.
Anis liqueurs are the most popular liqueurs in France and the Mediterranean countries. Absinthe was the classic anis spirit. Unlike anis, pastis contains licorice as a major ingredient. Pastis has a clear brown-yellow hue, and turns a whitish-gray with water.
Smooth, full flavored, with a very refreshing edge, Prince Pastis is a true classic, and is also an extraordinary ingredient in culinary recipes, from pastries to marinades. 45% alc/vol
Pour Prince Pastis into a small Collins glass. Serve with a small pitcher of chilled mineral water (sans bubbles), and pour water in a little at a time for preferred dilution. Watch it transform into a cloudy refreshment.
1/2 cup Elixir Vitae Champagne Le Orange Vinegar
4 tsp Prince Pastis
1/2 cup Dry white wine
4 tsp Minced shallots
1 tbsp Minced red bell pepper
Combine in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature. Can be prepared 2 hours ahead.