Star anise (Illcium verum) is the star shaped fruit of a small evergreen tree native to southwest China. Star anise has multiple culinary uses in the cuisines of India, China, Vietnam and Malaysia, where it lends a strong, black licorice note to everything from pho to chai tea to garam masala.
Star anise has seen more usage lately in the cocktail world as a substitute for the more expensive anise root. It takes infusion well, though anise flavors are not popular in the wider market yet. Star anise can also be used as a cocktail garnish, though it is not edible.
Some popular cocktails containing Star anise
- Rites of Spring — Aquavit, Bianco Vermouth, Pear liqueur, Bitters, Star anise, Oleo-saccharum, Lemon peel
- Smoked Anise — Vodka, Anisette, Whiskey, Star anise
- Falling Leaves — Riesling, Pear eau de vie, Orange Curaçao, Peychaud's Bitters, Star anise, Honey syrup
- North Star — Kirschwasser, White Crème de Cacao, Absinthe, Brandied cherry, Star anise, Cream
- Two Islands — Scotch, Sweet vermouth, Averna, Islay Scotch, Orange bitters, Star anise