How Do You Pronounce 'Pastis'?
A Quick Overview Of Pastis
'Pastis' is a liqueur, native to and traditionally drunk in Provence. It is an aniseed-based spirit. Pernod Ricard is the major manufacturer of aniseed-based spirits, which are produced by using natural extracts of star anise, green aniseed, fennel or other aniseed type of plants.
There are, according to Pernod Ricard, 4 types of aniseed-based spirits:
- pastis - which contains natural liquorice extracts;
- ouzo - Pernod Ricard produces this exclusively for the Greek market;
- other aniseed products such as Pernod, White anise;
- the fourth category is pastis made with absinthe extracts. Aniseed-based spirits really took off when Absinthe was banned - this is no longer the case, but it has not affected their popularity.
According to the company website, Ricard differs from other aniseed-based liqueurs. It is made from star anise and liquorice, has the subtle flavor of the plants of of Provence, and is made with a production technique that has been kept secret since 1932.
It seems like Pernod falls into the category of 'other aniseed product', while Ricard is definitely pastis (if you know better, please set me straight :-D ). Ricard is the top brand of pastis in France. It was created by Paul Ricard in 1932 when he was only 23. He declared it to be 'the real pastis from Marseille'. Ricard became France's first long drink. Pastis, like ouzo is always diluted with lots of water, with ice only added at the last minute to preserve the flavor.
Pastis and other aniseed drinks always go cloudy when water is added. The reason for this is that they contains substances called 'terpenes'. At a certain level of dilution, they become insoluble and the resulting precipitate causes the cloudiness. This applies to absinthe as well.
In French, an 's' at the end of a word which is not followed by an is is usually silent. Pastis is an exception to this rule.