Star anise

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

  • Smoked Anise — Vodka, Anisette, Whiskey, Star anise
  • Vernis à Ongle — Haitian Rum, Bigallet China-China, Sweet vermouth, Star anise
  • 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
  • Winter Waltz — Rye, Averna, Allspice Dram, Bitters, Star anise