Pastis

Pastis

Pastis is an anise-flavoured spirit and apéritif from France, typically containing less than 100 g/l sugar and 40–45% ABV (alcohol by volume). Pastis emerged some 17 years after the ban on absinthe, during a time when the French nation was still apprehensive of high-proof anise drinks in the wake of the absinthe debacle (people generally going crazy!). The popularity of pastis may be attributable to a penchant for anise drinks that was cultivated by absinthe decades earlier, but is also part of an old tradition of Mediterranean anise liquors that includes sambuca, ouzo, arak, rakı, and mastika. The name "pastis" comes from Occitan pastís which means mash-up.

Pastis is often associated with its historical predecessor, absinthe, yet the two are in fact very different. Pastis does not contain grand wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), the herb from which absinthe derives its name. Also, pastis obtains its anise flavour from a distillation of star anise, a herb of Asian origin, whereas absinthe traditionally obtains its base flavour from green anise, a European herb. Furthermore, pastis traditionally exhibits the distinct flavour of liquorice root (another herb of Asian origin), which is not a part of a traditional absinthe. Where bottled strength is concerned, traditional absinthes were bottled at 45–74% ABV, while pastis is typically bottled at 40–50% ABV.

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