Tag Archives: Anisette

Anisette

Anisette

I grew up with Marie Brizard. That was my father’s go-to brand of anisette. The bottle was on the table  after every dinner to sweeten our expresso. It was a low enough  proof so I got to use some in my coffee too. I don’t remember too many people drinking it straight. Anisette is very sweet. Maybe an old lady who needed a drink for a toast and didn’t want anything too strong would have some. Sometimes I’d get a sip of it in a cordial glass if I had a cough or sore throat.

 

marie-brizard-extra-fino-1l

Although some people think it’s main ingredient is liquorice root, anisette is made by macerating the seeds of the anis plant in a neutral spirit. I have an anis hyssop on my balcony (see the heading photo) but I’ve never tried to gather the seeds. A friend recently suggested that I can make a passable anisette using its leaves by filling a jar have full with them, then filling it with vodka. Strain it after a month, and add sugar syrup to taste. I may try that when my plant is bigger toward the end of the summer.

Anis Seeds
Anis Seeds

My Aunt Lena use to make her own anisette with anis essence she’d get from a local pastry shop. That’s a main ingredient in anisette biscotti so all the pastry shops had it. The essence would be added to black market grain alcohol and sugar syrup. She’d mix it in a big pot on her kitchen table. I remember being small enough to stand on the table to stir it with a long wooden spoon.

Anise Biscotti
Anisette Biscotti

When I was growing up, the only time I ever saw sambuca was if someone brought a bottle back from Italy. It wasn’t imported to the US back then. And as much as it tastes like anisette, sambuca is made from the elder berry plant. It’s a higher proof and is now much more common here than anisette.

anisette and coffee

I still generally use Marie Brizard but when it’s available I buy Anis del Mono, a Spanish brand. I like the monkey on the label. There are other anis flavored liquors made around the Mediterranean: Pernod, raki, ouzo and anazone but anisette is the best for sweetening expresso.

 

anisette bottles

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Cocktails – some new ones

The Fall Classic Cocktail

We got this recipe from the bartender who invented it for the Sept. 2011 Landmark Feast at the American Museum of Natural History.

Fall Classic

Fall Classic Cocktail

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Add a sprinkle of Angostura.

*cider thyme syrup – 2 cups cider, 1 cup sugar and a few sprigs of thyme. Boil slowly until clear and let it cool. Remove thyme and it’s done.


Bull Shot

Not as dainty as a Mimosa but a very good brunch drink.

Bull Shot

Pour all ingredients over ice in a 10 oz glass, stir and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Zubrowka


Philly Special

Philly tended bar in a place on Stanton Street between the Bowery and Forsyth in the 1960s when it was still the Lower East Side (pre-gentrification). This was his creation.Philly Special

Pour both over ice – simple!

Philly Special


Vodka on the Rocks

A Russian friend gave me this one. Sounds simple but there’s more to it than you might think.

Vodka on the Rocksod

Vodka on the Rocks

Cut a cucumber into thick slices and freeze them solid. Put them into a rocks glass as you would ice, and cover with Vodka.

1st – melting ice doesn’t dilute your drink.

2nd – there’s a fresh aroma of cucumbers with every sip


Caipirinha

A Brazilian friend taught me how to make Caipirinhas. We went to buy limes and I asked how many should I get. She said, “How many Caipirnhas do you want?” So that’s one lime per drink.

caipirinha

Lime – Sugar – Cachaca

Cut the 2 ends of a lime so that you have a barrel shape. Cut that into 4 rings and stack them. Cut that stack into quarters so you now have 16 small wedges of lime.

Put the lime into a heavy duty rocks glass and crush with 2 tea spoons of sugar.

Add ice and fill glass with Cachaca and stir. Some bartenders add a splash of 7-Up.

 

Sazerac

Sazarac

My wife Bridget and I went to four bars in the New Orleans’ French Quarter to try Sazeracs and take away the best recipe. This was our favorite but after four Sazeracs I could only remember the recipe and not the name of the bar where I got it – maybe the Hotel Monteleone? sazerac Ingredients:

  • Anisette (or Pernod)
  • Peychauds bitters
  • Simple syrup*
  • 2 oz. Rye
  • Angostura bitters

rye2 Preparation: Put ½ shot of Anisette in a small rocks glass. Coat the sides of the glass with it and then add some ice. In another small rocks glass add: a few dashes of Peychauds Bitters and 1 tsp of simple syrup. Mix, add ice and stir. Add a shot of rye and stir. Empty ice and excess Anisette from 1st rocks glass and strain mix of Peychauds, syrup and rye into it. Float a few dashes of Angostura on top. Serve cold without ice. Three aromatics, sugar and Rye – that’s a Sazerac.

*Simple syrup – Heat one cup of sugar in one cup of water. Stir until it’s clear and liquid.

DeRobertis Pasticceria

DeRobertis Pasticceria

orzata 2
At DeRobertis – coffee, orzata…

I have some sad news. DeRobertis Pasticceria is closing. They’ve been on First Ave. between Tenth and Eleventh Streets in Manhattan since 1904. And I’ve been going there since, well, I remember tagging along with my father on Sunday mornings to get pastry for after dinner – biscotti, cannoli, babas and sfogliatelle to go with our Anisette and black coffee. At Easter their pizza con gran couldn’t be beat and at Christmas they had the best struffoli.

The owner said the “new” local people expect his pasticceria to be more like Starbucks. (See Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York) Too bad they don’t know what it is that they have. And that it will be gone soon.

After dinner at Lanza's we went next door to DeRobertis for dessert
After dinner at Lanza’s last month, we went next door to DeRobertis for dessert

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