Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pastis

Pastis is an anise flavored alcohol from the Provence region of France.  It’s usually served as a refreshing summertime drink, diluted with 5 parts cold water.
Pastis & water
Here’s how you should think of pastis, according to Food Tourist.  I love this:

"Pastis is not just a drink, it is the embodiment of a lifestyle - an attitude to life. You don't slam pastis down you sip it, you savour it - you have all the time in the world.

You enjoy pastis sitting on a terrace looking out over ancient ramparts to the vineyards and lavender fields and the distant mountains. You sip pastis under a plane tree while watching men lazily playing p├ętanque while the breeze from the Mediterranean or from Mont Ventoux rustles the leaves and cools the players from their ever-so-slight exertion.”

Pastis being blended with water
The pastis itself is golden colored and flavored with a top secret blend of herbs.  Fennel and star anise feature prominently, so that part of the herb blend isn’t a secret. But anise isn't the only flavor in this alcohol – others include slight hints of tonka beans from Brazil, cardamom, cinnamon.  The drink has a definite herbal sweetness, although it is not cloying at all.
When the pastis is diluted with water, it changes color from clear golden to opaque white.  After a few tries we managed to capture the color change in action!
water poured into Pastis
I became obsessed with pastis after reading many of Peter Mayle’s books on southern France.  He seems to spend a lot of his time in the books sitting in sunny cafes, sipping pastis, and contemplating what he’s going to buy from the market and each for lunch.  Sign me up!
This is a fun cocktail, perfect for summertime.  Or for those with spring fever (me).  It is surprisingly refreshing, not too strong, and sweet without being fruity or sugary.

Pastis

  • 1 oz pastis
  • 5 oz cold water
  • add a few ice cubes after mixing
Pastis with & without water added

4 comments:

  1. I've not given much thought to Anise Liqueur but this is definitely an inspiration to get a bottle ;) Lovely colours

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  2. I have never heard of this drink before. It looks like a small science experiment, but when you think about it, aren't all cocktails science experiments? Great work, I will be buying some pastis in my near future. Thanks.

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  3. Wow, this can be great with cocktails! I tried the rourou, pastis with strawberry syrup. It tasted somewhat sweet and sour, but it's very soothing. Isn't it great to sip pastis along with some friends while having cocktail parties in the glamorous long island party venues? Why, it's not bad to daydream right?

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  4. @Terrance : I found Rourou on cocktail lists in Monte Carlo, Capetown and Rio de Janeiro's hypest bars. It's sure gonna be a "fashionable" cocktail in Long Island soon.

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