'anise' on Serious Eats

Sambuca Kisses

"Baci" is Italian for "kiss". And these kisses are as light as air. Flavored with anise liqueur, these fried delights should flutter into your mouth as fast as you can turn them out. Nigellissima has the recipe. More

DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Pastis

One sure-fire way to start an argument with me is to say that absinthe makes people hallucinate. It doesn't. But if you think it does, you have something in common with French regulators in the early 1900s. Back then, everyone was panicking that absinthe would drive people insane because it contained wormwood. Before more people could succumb to absinthe madness and chop their ear off à la Vincent van Gogh, they outlawed the spirit. (The fact that absinthe was 140 proof and people were drinking it like wine had more than a little to do with the crazy behavior, but I digress.) With absinthe out of the picture, people needed another delicious anise-flavored alcoholic beverage. That's where pastis came in. More

DIY Pastis

Pastis is an anise-flavored aperitif that's one of life's little luxuries, and you can make a richly flavored homemade version by steeping some spices and bark in a jar for just a few days. More

Cookie Monster: Spanish Anise Cookies

The cliff dropped precipitously into the sea. The so-called road down to the port was more of a endless, stomach turning series of switchbacks so tight that as we rounded the corners I was afraid the back tires of our rental car would swing out, pulling us off the road. Yes, mostly I was just afraid, and eventually I closed my eyes and tried not to vomit as other cars of blithely speeding Spaniards kept trying to make their way past us up the mountain. A two lane road the width of a Ford Explorer. Dios mio. More

Cookie Monster: Absinthe Cookies

This year my Halloween costume was a bit of a bust. I dressed up as the Green Fairy, intending for people to make the connection between the Green Fairy, which is a nickname for Absinthe, and my boyfriend's costume as a 19th century, bohemian French painter. Everyone thought I was Tinkerbell. On the positive side, I was left with a bottle of Absinthe which we had bought to "add authenticity" to our costumes. More

Knife Skills: How to Prepare Fennel

Fennel is a generally divisive vegetable. Crisp, with a distinct anise flavor, it can be overpowering for some people. I like my fennel in small doses. Sliced super thin on a mandoline and tossed with citrus segments and a nice lemony vinaigrette, it's a great winter salad that goes well with sausages, terrines, and other charcuterie. More

Bake the Book: Anise Cookies

Adapted from Delicias de Antaño, a volume on the history and recipes of Mexican convents, these Anise Cookies are flavored with anise (both seed and liqueur), lime zest, and canela, Mexican cinnamon. The shortening-based dough makes for a crumbly cookie and when dipped in the anise syrup and finished with a dusting of cinnamon sugar, they are almost candy-like. The anise-lime-cinnamon combo brings is reminiscent of a digestif—sweet and herbal. More

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