Star Anise is the seed pod of a fruit that has been picked before it ripens and dried in the sun, giving it its rich dark colour. Star Anise has a distinct warming flavour that is sweet, and spicy, similar to liquorice, fennel seed, clove, and aniseed. Commonly used to spice rum as well as for garnish due to its unique star shape.
Star anise is the seed pod from the fruit of the Illicium verum plant, an evergreen shrub native to Southwest China. The star anise pod, which is shaped like a star (hence its name), has an average of eight points, each containing a single pea-sized seed.
Star anise is used to flavor liqueurs, such as absinthe and sambuca. Also found in many spiced Rums. The distinctive star shaped fruits contain the aroma molecule anethole, responsible for the anise flavor. In gins, it can be hard to tell which type of anise you’re tasting. The effect is very similar, as both anise and star anise impart a “anise” like flavor.
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Botanical Name: Illicium Verum
Country of Origin: China