Earlier this year I made Homemade Pastis (Liquorice Liqueur) where I infused the spices into vodka and added a simple syrup. This tastes divine (although a bit sweet for my taste) but was a somewhat cloudy and coloured liqueur.
I decided to make a distilled version of this to attempt to get closer to an authentic ouzo – and was delighted with the result: a clear and flavourful spirit that isn’t too sweet.
Unfortunately it still doesn’t have the signature white cloudiness when water is added (although I was briefly excited as the first few mls of the distillate came out cloudy). The cloudiness has to do with the anise essential oil, anethole, that becomes less soluble as more water is added and forms larger droplets that give a cloudy appearance.
I simply used the same ingredients as previously, this time tied in a muslin bag that was put in the neck of the still. And added 1L vodka to the pot for the distillation.
10 star anise pods
1 tablespoon licorice root
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
I felt the result was plenty sweet enough (liquorice root brings an inherent sweetness) without needing to add any further sweetener – so it is healthier – right?