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
  • Starfish & Coffee — Bourbon, Aperol, Coffee Pecan Bitters, Star anise, Egg white, Lemon juice, Blackberry preserves, Grade B maple syrup
  • Tempest — Spiced Rum, Ginger liqueur, Clove and mace tincture, Star anise, Lime juice, Egg white
  • Stardust Cocktail — Reposado Tequila, Crème de Cacao, Absinthe, Star anise, Heavy cream, Cinnamon syrup
  • Scotch and Coconut — Islay Scotch, Triple sec, Coconut Water, Star anise, Lemon juice, Orange peel, Salt