Amanda A-mangia: Delicious Liquoricious drinks

Today is World Liquorice Day: Love it or hate it - here are a few things you may not know about liquorice.

So what is liquorice?

Liquorice, or licorice, is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra from which a sweet flavour can be extracted. The liquorice plant is a herbaceous perennial legume native to southern Europe and parts of Asia, such as India.

Liquorice roots on wooden background --- Image by © Kröger/Gross/the food passionates/Corbis


Liquorice is a confection flavoured with the extract of the roots of the liquorice plant. A wide variety of liquorice sweets are produced around the world.

24 May 2007 --- Liquorice sweets (Liquorice Allsorts) --- Image by © Foodfolio/the food passionates/Corbis


Liquorice flavoured drinks

This is a category of drinks that are flavoured with either anise, star anise, or liquorice.


Pastis which means mixture, is a liquorice flavored drink imported from France. It is a member of a large group of spirits in which anise is the dominant flavor. Pastis is the direct descendant of the infamous absinthe.


At the height of absinthe’s popularity through to its eventual banishment, the drink was considered both a miracle tonic and a criminal scourge, depending on your perspective. While little of the alleged psychoactive or hallucinatory aspects of absinthe have been explained by science, what we do know is that the drink touched the lives and influenced the work of many an artist, writer, and intellectual. Absinthe aficionados whose life and work were inspired to take up pen or paintbrush thanks to The Green Lady were Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900), Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1867), Guy de Maupassant (1850 – 1893) and Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961).


Pernod is an anise-based liquor made in France.

Sambuca is an Italian liqueur produced by the infusion of Witch Elder (Elderberry) bush and sweet anise. A very 70s liqueur, served at the end of an Italian meal with a coffee bean and set alight at the table. Many a lip was blistered, hurting for days, due to the too hasty imbibement of the liqueur.


Ouzo is an anise-flavoured aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece and Cyprus.


Jägermeister is a German liquorice liquer. It consists of a complex blend of herbs, fruits and spices. Jägermeister translates to “hunt master”. It is currently a very popular shot.



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