Autumn Spice Cocktails: Star Anise

A powerful addition perfect for holiday cocktails


With the winter months rushing towards us in true avalanche style, it is time for the Autumn Spice Cocktail series to take its bow.

Star anise, a powerful spice with a warming kick eases us into the cold with gusto. Why not go out with a bang? Just one star anise packs a huge amount of anethole (black licorice) flavor and can take a mild cocktail into new realms. With its unique eight-pointed star shape, this traditional Chinese spice is also quite fitting as we near the pinnacle of our holiday season.

The Enchanter is a sassy, fun libation to serve during this year’s holiday festivities. Whether for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s Eve, the balance of anise and season-appropriate blood orange and Meyer lemon juice is sure to please a variety of taste buds. If you are hosting the party or simply a generous guest, the Enchanter is easy to whip up just about anywhere. By pre-squeezing and mixing both juices then multiplying the recipe, in a few pours and shakes you’ll be clinking glasses and enjoying the evening cheer.

Happy holidays and may the New Year be bountiful.

The Enchanter

Serving Size: 1

1 ¾ oz Leopold Bros Gin
½ oz Yellow or Green Chartreuse
4 sage leaves pinched
½ oz fresh squeezed blood orange juice
½ oz fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
1 star anise for garnish

Pinch, squeeze and break up sage into the shaker. Add all other ingredients and shake vigorously over ice for 20 seconds. Fine strain into your glass of choice and garnish with a floating star anise.

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  • Snooth User: Mimi Kim
    Hand of Snooth
    648878 3,074

    I love this! I recently bought a bag of star anise and was wondering what I was going to do with it. Another cocktail garnished with a star anise is Falling Leaves!

    Dec 20, 2011 at 3:40 PM

  • Snooth User: musserjd1
    669354 2

    What does it mean to pinch the sage?

    Dec 20, 2011 at 4:19 PM

  • Snooth User: natalieg
    292233 5

    @musserjd1 Pinch and squeeze and break up brings out the aroma and flavors more

    Dec 20, 2011 at 10:27 PM

  • Thanks Mimi. I will have to check out Falling Leaves. And yes, pinching sage means exactly what is stated above. Enjoy!!

    Dec 21, 2011 at 2:04 AM

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