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Six Tips To Make The Greatest Pastis Cocktails — Right At Home

pastis cocktails

The French countryside has always been celebrated for its vibrant vineyards and the culture of making some of the finest liquors in the world. It is a paradise for oenophiles because here you can find the most exquisite and decadent collections of reds and whites that would simply transport your taste buds to heaven. From Burgundies to Bordeauxs to Champagnes, this is a land where wine production is carried out at scale. But along with grapes, there are several other varieties of liqueurs that have made this region special. One of them is the pastis, an anise-flavoured liqueur which is often enjoyed as an aperitif in the south of France.

According to Punch magazine, the drink is dominated by flavours of liquorice and is infused with myriad other herbs and spices. The same article also suggests that pastis is woven into the cultural fabric of the south of France where the ritual of drinking this liqueur before a meal is followed in many homes to this day. Pastis is often consumed with ice and water to make it into a slightly cloudy cocktail but overtime, numerous other recipes have come up which incorporate this fresh French liqueur into their mix. And just with any other cocktail recipe, making a pastis drink requires tremendous skill.

Read on below to know more about some of the handy tips to craft the perfect pastis cocktail at home:

Use Chilled Water

One of the best ways to fashion a pastis cocktail is to mix this anise-flavoured liqueur with water. This creates a refreshingly intense and cloudy drink that is best enjoyed in the early evening or late afternoon until it is time for dinner. Use chilled water while crafting this simple cocktail mix made from pastis and aqua as the most classic way to sip on the French liqueur. Many keep a pitcher of chilled water at hand, and instead of adding ice, go the traditional route by mixing cold water and pastis for the ideal finish.

pastis cocktail making tips

Wait For The Ouzo Effect

The ouzo effect essentially means adding precise proportions of water to pastis until the drink acquires a cloudy appearance. This is essentially a process akin to an oil in water emulsion where two liquids mix without the need to whisk them together. As you pour water over the anise heavy liqueur, wait for the slow shift that is brought about in the drink as the percentage of alcohol changes and some particles become insoluble.

Be Accurate With Ratios

In the south of France, a pastis cocktail is enjoyed at a leisurely pace, so many times, the pastis is savoured by adding small amounts of water at frequent intervals to dilute the liquid and make it last longer. However, when you craft the cocktail at home, make sure you start out with an accurate water to liquor ratio so that your initial few sips are filled with the intense notes of the spice. You can dilute the drink as the evening goes by and add some ice to keep it chilled.

Add Syrups

Pastis is usually enjoyed plain with water but sometimes, if you are using different variations of the drink for an aperitif, you can also add a splash of flavour to make the concoction more enticing. You can use syrups to elevate its profile and this can include anything from grenadine to mint syrup to strawberry. 

diy pastis tips

Adjust Flavour With Fromage Blanc

Dairy with liquorice is quite reminiscent of the southern province in France and you can make your cocktail glass feel like a holiday in Nice by adding some white yoghurt or fromage blanc to your drink. This gives the cocktail a more acidic and sour flavour and you can add crushed ice to adjust any excessive sweetness.

Add Citruses And Mixers

Another option to craft some more diverse mixes out of pastis is to add certain chosen citruses to the drink like lemon juice to taper down its intensity and introduce a bit of tang into the recipe. Along with citruses you can also go for other mixers like watermelon juice or absinthe to make your drink sing using some really well-balanced notes.

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