Aniseed and Other Flavored Spirits

  1. Name the 3 common features of all flavored spirits
  2. Base sprits: usually a highly rectified spirit but also Cognac and whisky
  3. Flavors and flavorings: fruits and botanicals (herbs and spices)
  4. Coloring (optional): natural plant extracts or artificial
  5. What is a natural flavor?
  6. One that is directly extracted from a fruit or botanical
  7. What is a nature-identical flavor?
  8. One that has been manufactured but is chemically identical to, and tastes the same as a natural flavor
  9. When is coloring added to a liqueur?
  10. Near the end of the process
  11. Describe two types of coloring techniques
  12. Natural colors: extracted from plant material by maceration
    colors unstable
  13. Artificial colors: chemical dyes approved for human consumption
  14. Why are artificial coloring used?
  15. More vivid and stable than natural coloring
  16. Do premium spirit producers use artificial colors?
  17. Yes
  18. Name four techniques for natural flavor extraction
  19. Maceration: ffruit or botanical placed in diluted HRS for hours to months, heated or not
  20. Distillation: diluted HRS and botanicals placed in pot still
    sometimes with maceration
  21. Steam distillation: botanical mixed in a reservoir of water or suspended above it
    water is boiled
  22. Vacuum distillation: variation of distillatioun or steam distillation but liquid boils at lower temperature
  23. Percolation: spirit is repeatedly dripped through the botanical
  24. How is a final flavored spirit made?
  25. Blend to even out batch variation: Some use only one flavor extraction technique (e.g., London Dry Gin).
  26. Blend different components: Different flavor extraction techniques used for different components
  27. Cold compounding: Nature-identical flavors blended into base spirit
  28. What botanicals are used to make absinthe?
  29. Aniseed flavors are from star anise, green anise, and fennel
  30. Wormwood adds a musky floral note an a bitter quality (but not predominate)
  31. Must absinthe contain grand wormwood (artemisia absinthium)?
  32. Yes. While there is no legal definitions, most are agreed it must contain wormwood.
  33. How is classic absinthe made?
  34. Botanicals are macerated in high strength alcohol (wine-based or HRS) for 24 hours
  35. It is then diluted, redistilled with botanicals, and collected at 80% abv
  36. How can you tell if a absinthe is an imitation?
  37. A classic absinthe louches when water is added
  38. Absinthes made by adding extracts to alcohol (imitations) do not
  39. What is thujone?
  40. Toxin in absinthe that can cause convulsions in extremely high doses
  41. Thujone levels are controlled (10ppm in USA, 35ppm in EU)
  42. 19C "absinthism" was chronic alcoholism
  43. Where was anise first used by distillers?
  44. Turkey (Byzantine Empire)
  45. What is the most famous/infamous anise drink?
  46. Absinthe was popular in the 19C
  47. Wrongly linked to disease and moral decay so banned in 20C
  48. Pastis filled the gap
  49. What is the flavor compound that all anise drinks share
  50. Anethole
  51. What plants contain anethole?
  52. Star Anise
  53. Anise
  54. Fennel
  55. What is louching?
  56. When water is added to a spirit containing anethole it goes cloudy
  57. Anethole is not easily soluable in water so comes out of solution
  58. How are anise-based spirits drunk?
  59. Diluted with water so no stronger than wine
  60. How is flavor extracted for anise-based spirits?
  61. Many techniques are used to create several flavored spirits that are blended to create the final product
  62. Do anise-based spirits use artificial colors?
  63. Yes, even the best producers
  64. Define an aniseed-flavored spirit
  65. Predominant flavor of anise extracted fro star anise, anise, fennel or any plant with same aromas
  66. HRS with flavor obtained by maceration and/or distillation and addition of extracts
  67. Only natural flavors can be used
  68. Define Pastis
  69. Anise-flavored spirit made from liquorice root at well
  70. Bottled at 40% abv
  71. Anethole levels between 1.5 and 2g/l
  72. Can be sweetened up to 100g/l
  73. Define Pastis de Marseille
  74. Same as Pastis but higher alcohol and anethole
  75. Bottled at 45% abv
  76. Anethole level must be 2g/l
  77. How does Pastis differ from Absinthe?
  78. Absinthe is dry and served with sugar
    pastis is sweetened and is also based on liquorice root as well as anise, star anise, and fennel.
  79. Name two brands from Pernod Ricard (rivals merged in 1975) that dominate anise-flavored spirits
  80. Pernod Anise:
  81. Ricard Pastis: blend of distilled Chinese star anise and fennel, percolated Middle East liquorice root, herbs from Provence, neutral alcohol and sugar (<100 g/l)
  82. Name Aniseed drinks other than Absinthe and Pastis
  83. Ouso: Greek equivalent of pastis
    HRS redistilled with anise, mastic, etc.
  84. Raki: Turkey
    raisins/grapes distilled to max of 94.5% abv (not HRS) called suma
  85. Name 3 types of bitters
  86. Apertifs: palate sharpener before a meal
    Campari, Suze, Cynar, Aperol
  87. Digestifs: Sweeet (Unicum, Becherovka, Calisay, Averna) and Bitter (Fernet Branca, Jagermeister, Underberg, Carlsbad)
  88. Cocktail: bottled at high strength (Angostura, Peychaud)
  89. What is a bitter?
  90. Distilled to obtain an essential oil or macerated in HRS.
  91. Natural bittering agents include cinchon bark/quinine, angelica, gentian, bitter orage, rue, artichokes, rhubarb, bitter aloe
  92. Base is aromatized by clove, vanilla, coriander, ginger, sweet peels, etc.
  93. May be sweetened.
  94. What is the history of bitters?
  95. Romans consumed bitters as an aid to digestion.
  96. Italy has greatest following (and calls them amaro).
  97. What is the history of Angostura bitters?
  98. 1824: Created in the Venezuelan town of Angostura ("narrows" of Orinoco river) now Ciudad Bolivar) as a medicinal drink for troops of Simon Bolivar
    does not contain bark of Angostura tree (but other bitters do)
  99. 1830: Exported to England and Trinidad
  100. 1862: Pink gins (gin and Angostura) created
  101. 1876: Moved to Trinidad (by Dr. Johann Siegert's brother and son after his death in 1870)
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Aniseed and Other Flavored Spirits
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