Pastis is an anise-flavored liqueur from France which is usually served cold and is considered a refreshment for hot summer days. The drink is especially popular along the Mediterranean, and is often associated with the city of Marseille. Restaurants in the region serve the drink as an apéritif before dinner, though the drink is just as often enjoyed on its own!
Pastis is often compared to its predecessor absinthe and, although they share some characteristics, they are very different drinks. Late in the 1800s, absinthe began to garner a reputation for causing hallucinations and death and was banned in many countries. Prior to the ban, the drink enjoyed widespread popularity as a casual treat and even as a remedy for sickness. And that void was eventually filled by several new drinks, including pastis. Paul Ricard, a French industrialist, is credited with commercializing the new liqueur in 1932, and his name is still highly regarded as a premier brand of pastis. We often find vintage Ricard bottles and memorabilia and love to bring them back to Texas!
The concentrated pastis is usually diluted with water or ice before consuming, and a number of cocktails exist mixing pastis with other drinks and syrups. Pastis is often served neat, along with a bottle of spring water, so that the consumer can mix it to their preference. You can find pastis being served at many restaurants in the Austin area, including Justine's Brasserie, Vino Vino, and Vespaio. Or you can find a bottle at the Austin Wine Merchant or Wiggy's and experiment for yourself!
Check out Négrel Antiques' collection of stellar bar carts; perfect for serving pastis to your guests!