Anise… I think this is one of those flavors where you either love it or hate it. My mother happens to love it, and she loves gin. So this was one of her Mother’s Day goodies.
Star Anise Gin
20 grams Star Anise
1 c. gin
1 TB Simple Syrup (or more/less to taste)
Place Star Anise in a jar, add gin, seal tight and shake. Allow to infuse for about 2-3 days, then add simple syrup.
At 3 days, this tasted pretty good. Keep infusing until it reaches your desired taste, then strain and filter with cheesecloth and coffee filter if desired. Your infusion time will depend on how strong you want the flavor. It reminded me of a Good and Plenty candy (which I always loved).
I happened to have a lot of star anise, but you could probably cut way back on the amount in the infusion and just allow it to sit for a longer period.
This was very easy and really tasty on its own. And I think might make for a very refreshing gin and tonic!
Cheers to Mom!
May 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm
Because my parent’s closest friends were Italian, Star Anise always reminds me of Christmas Cookies…………I think this would be a great addition to Christmas!
May 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm
agreed! My mothers family is German, and we would always eat springerle cookies at Christmas, which have anise seeds in them as well. I loved those and havent had them in years…
May 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm
Me too! I don’t know about the German ones but the Italian ones were all different shaped “happy” cookies with a lovely light icing on them…..I will have to make some this year.
May 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm
Sorry to make this comment chain go on forever. We didn’t have icing, but our cookies had a special rolling pin with cookie molds in it. It would cut the cookies and put an imprint on the top.
May 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm
Just found your blog and can only wish my son had seen it for my mothers day! will def be giving this a try.
May 15, 2012 at 6:07 pm
ha ha! Maybe you can send him the link and get him started on a birthday gift or something. Glad you have found us too!
May 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm
May 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm
yep! I might have to make some for myself, since I gave the whole jar to my mother
May 15, 2012 at 6:45 pm
The perfect Mother’s Day!! 🙂
May 15, 2012 at 7:04 pm
nice! coincidentally, i’ve just decanted something similar: a star anise infused high west silver (unaged) rye (http://www.highwest.com/spirits/silver-omg-pure-rye/). i think what i ended up with was something more like a strong aquavit, but it’s damned tasty, and made for a nice cocktail (though i can’t recall what i mixed it with. tangerine juice & other stuff… i need to write these things down).
btw, i took your carrot infusion idea and am now making a carrot brandy. i’m using christian bros. “frost white” as the brandy aroma bows easily to whatever one infuses it with. i made a fantastic tobacco infused brandy with it, but it’s so bloody high in nicotine that a small sip kept me awake the other night (and i’m no stranger to nicotine). this was my attempt at mimicking the unobtainable perique liqueur (http://laughingsquid.com/perique-tobacco-liqueur/), but their process includes fermentation, which i guess gets rid of all or most of the nicotine.
anyway, as always, keep up the great stuff.
May 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm
Wow! What a great comment… So much substance! I love rye, and I think the star anise would be great in it. The carrot brandy sounds good. I’ve been thinking of some cocktails to make with the rest of my carrot infusion. And the tobacco sounds interesting, I would like to try it. Sounds like you should use it for a weekend brunch cocktail or something. Would the flavor work for that?
And yes, you should definitely write your stuff down. I had to! Otherwise I would never be able to replicate. I have no memory for that stuff, and with all of the infusions I have going (and some of them going for months) I really find it helps. Cheers!
May 15, 2012 at 7:54 pm
fyi, the high west rye i mentioned is an *unaged* ‘white dog’ rye. completely different thing than the stuff that sits in a charred barrel & turns brown & mellow. HW also makes an unaged oat whiskey, which i think is absolutely fantastic stuff. not at all what you’d expect from a white dog (smooth, fruity, sippable, etc) and i make a whole bunch of cocktails using it as a base, but i think i need to try an infusion soon. i’m thinking ginger, rosemary, or vanilla. so many ideas. so little time! thanks again for the inspirado.
PS; i do write most everything down that i deem successful. most of it is here: http://cocktailogist.wordpress.com 😉
May 16, 2012 at 7:35 am
i think I will agree with a comment on your blog that your infusions are very manly… Much more so than mine! I’m sure using the unaged rye makes it really interesting. There is a place here in Portland that makes an unoaked rye and an unoaked oat whiskey. They are really good, would be interesting to try with an infusion. Thanks!
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November 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm
Is there a particular gin you would recommend for this infusion?
November 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm
I usually go with a middle of the road alcohol for most infusions. It sometimes seems a waste to use the top shelf if you’re altering the flavor. I think Aviation would be great here. Try a fairly neutral gin, I wouldn’t use any that are too juniper-heavy. That said, I think you would be good with just about anything!
November 19, 2012 at 10:20 am
Cool, I was thinkin’ Bombay, the original as it is evenly balanced. This infusion is inspiringly beautiful with your pic of the star anise and all…
March 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm
Would you say that the flavor is similar to Sambuca? I love Sambuca.
March 20, 2013 at 8:04 pm
Gosh it has been so long since I have had Sambuca. I think you would enjoy this if you love Sambuca. This is such an easy infusion, too. I hope you give it a try!