A glass of diluted pastis
French Pastis: Pastis is an anise-flavored liqueur and apéritif from France, typically containing 40-45% alcohol by volume, although there exist alcohol-free varieties.
When absinthe was banned in France in 1915, the major absinthe producers (then Pernod and Ricard, who have since merged as Pernod Ricard) reformulated their drink without the banned wormwood component, a heavier focus on the aniseed flavor using more star anise, sugar and a lower alcohol content creating pastis, which remains popular in France today. Pastis has changed considerably since its first creation based on market preference.
Pastis is normally diluted with water before drinking (generally 5 volumes of water for 1 volume of pastis). The resulting decrease in alcohol percentage causes some of the constituents to become insoluble, which changes the liqueur’s appearance from dark transparent yellow to milky soft yellow. The drink is consumed cold, with ice, and is considered a refreshment for hot days. Ice cubes can be added after the water to avoid crystallization of the anethol in the pastis. However, many pastis drinkers refuse to add ice, preferring to drink the beverage with cool spring water.
Although it is consumed throughout France, especially in the summer, pastis is generally associated with southeastern France, especially with the city of Marseille, and with the clichés of the Provençal lifestyle, like pétanque.
Some well known cocktails use pastis and syrups:
• The perroquet (parrot) with green mint syrup
• The tomate (tomato) with grenadine syrup
• The mauresque (moorish) with orgeat syrup