14 Feb

If you aren’t in America, expect anise on everything.  It’s one of the world’s most popular flavors but arrives on our shores in what some children call “punishment candy” and adults only know as fake Czech absinthe or Ouzo shots ’til blackout ‘o clock.  However, these bottle show that anise can do so much more.

This month our judges will include Jen Boelts of Imbibe Magazine, 5th generation distiller, Matteo Meletti and the prolific Paul Clarke of Cocktail Chronicles.

Here are the rules, And we need to taste all of the cocktails by Friday FEB 22nd.

One of the world's finest Absinthes, made in Woodinville?!?!?

One of the world’s finest Absinthes, made in Woodinville?!?!?

Pacifique Absinthe Verte Supérieure is a super-premium absinthe, hand-crafted in the historic Franco-Swiss style. Pacifique is made in exact accordance to a classic 1855 French recipe, and faithfully represents a recreation of the kind of absinthe one would drink in 19th century France. Pacifique is artisan distilled using historic distilling techniques in a hand-hammered copper alembic pot still. By using only the finest grain spirits and selected botanicals chosen from around the globe, we insure a truly world class product that reflects the undeniable qualities of the art of traditional distilling.

Pacifique Absinthe Verte Supérieur is perfectly served performing the classic French Drip Ritual but also blends beautifully with other spirits and mixers. From the classic Sazerac to a refreshing Clipper Ship – use in the many historic cocktail recipes of the past or a creation of your own, Pacifique epitomizes the true taste of the Belle Époque.

Combier Elixir does not make you live forever, however it does slow time.

Combier Elixir does not make you live forever, however it does slow time.

Jean-Baptiste Combier’s acclaimed 19th century Elixir is comprised of an exotic blend of herbs, plants, and other spices from France’s Loire Valley, Africa, India, and southeast Asia. Key ingredients such as aloe, nutmeg, myrrh, cardamom, cinnamon and saffron are combined to recreate this unique liqueur that has been unearthed from Combier’s 177-year-old archives, after having been discontinued for decades. This re-released original recipe comes to America in individually numbered bottles. Elixir Combier is best expressed on a quiet night in the company of good friends or as a modifier to your favorite cocktail.

if you are from Seattle, Aquavit shots and Rainier should make up roughly 2% of your blood.

if you are from Seattle, Aquavit shots & Rainier should make up roughly 2% of your blood.

Sound Spirits Aquavit is a traditional Scandinavian spirit – caraway, dill, coriander, fennel and anise. Made on a vase of 51% Washington malted barley, it has a rich, heavy mouthfeel that with carry flavors like a Viking long ship charting though the thickest fog.

Sabucca can be good, and here is proof.

Sabucca can be good, and here is proof.

Sambuca is a licorice-flavored liqueur that derives its flavor from the gentle cold infusion of the elder bush, known in Latin as “sambucus”. The fruit from the elder bush is steeped in alcohol at very cold temperatures. This flavorful mixture is then aged for four months and is cut to proof before bottling. The extended aging is what makes Meletti Sambuca stand head and shoulders above the competition. Sambuca is richer in body than anisette and has an underlying floral character.

This puts the "b" in "subtle," it's sexy, complex and worthy of great consideration.

This puts the “b” in “subtle,” it’s sexy, complex and worthy of great consideration.

The very special flavor of Meletti Anisette is a result of slow evaporative distillation and the quality of the anise (Pimpinella Anisum) that is grown in the clay soil near Ascoli Piceno. During distillation Meletti discards the first and last portions of the distillate because they contain elements of bitterness. They keep only the “heart”, or middle portion, to ensure that the flavors are concentrated and consistent. Once distilled at high alcoholic strength, a second distillation of other spices is added. The liqueur is then transferred to 10,000 liter tanks for four months of aging, adjusted for proof, and bottled. The resulting anisette is rich, smooth, and exceptionally flavorful.

Kaiser Penguin is the best bottle ever.

Kaiser Penguin is the best bottle ever.

Kümmel, also called kummel or kimmel, is a sweet, colorless liqueur flavored with caraway seed, cumin, and fennel.

Originally, the words kümmel, kummel, and kimmel are somewhat generic terms in the German, Dutch, and Yiddish languages, respectively, meaning both caraway and cumin. For instance, in German caraway is called Echter Kümmel and cumin is called Kreuzkümmel, but the term Kümmel is also used for the liqueur flavored with these spices.

According to the Dutch, kümmel liqueur was first distilled in Holland during the late 16th century by Lucas Bols.It was then taken to Germany and Russia; the latter is now the principal producer and consumer of kümmel.

The Berlin-made Gilka Kümmel goes through a longer distillation process and has a smoother taste than the Russian kummels.

Combier Kümmel made its debut at the Combier Distillery in the mid-19th century satisfying the demands of British, Dutch, German and Russian elite enamored with the liqueur’s medicinal and aromatic properties. It is re-released today with the same powerful, lifted aromas and refined taste it became known for more than 150 years ago.

In the UK, it is a popular drink at many of the more traditional golf clubs, like that scene from Goldfinger, remember?

think: 19th green

think: 19th green

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