Pastis Olive – An Aperitif For All
Take a nap after lunch while listening to cicadas sing or enjoy an anise-flavored drink like Ricard, Pernod or Henri Bardouin pastis on a sunny terrace – few traditions are as beloved in Provence than these popular drinks. No matter which pastis you prefer – Ricard, Pernod or Henri Bardouin all offer something delicious – there’s sure to be one perfect for every palate in Provence.
Early Life and Education
Pastis olive is an alcoholic drink made of anise seed, licorice root and other herbs with similar flavors, typically served diluted in water with ice cubes as an aperitif before dinner.
Paul Ricard, son of wine merchants, created absinthe-like beverages 17 years after its ban and saw great success in Marseille.
Brand is now a global company and product is widely consumed; French people consume over 140m liters annually! Drink is associated with Provence culture in France’s southern region; identifiable by frosted bottle with iconic illustration of an olive tree spreading its branches towards heaven.
West L.A. men don’t often associate country restaurants with places far removed from city life. Pastis in a canyon near Pacific Palisades and Woodland Hills stands out as a country restaurant; you crunch through gravel parking lot as your feet crunch beneath you as the scent of wood smoke fills the air and maybe you even sample some Edna Valley Chardonnay before sitting down for dinner.
Provence claims to be the birthplace of pastis as its ingredients were readily available around villages. But its true roots could lie with a hermit who lived in an isolated hut and experimented with recipes until creating his own version of an elixir of life – unknowingly becoming a worldwide hit with his marketing skills!
Achievement and Honors
Pastis, popular since 1932 with Paul Ricard’s introduction of it and subsequent ban of absinthe, has quickly become a Mediterranean beverage, especially beloved in Marseille.
Pastis is often misconstrued as being hallucinogenic; however, its properties are far less potency. Pastis tends to be less boozy than absinthe and lacks its grand wormwood ingredients which were once blamed for absinthe’s hallucinatory qualities.
Henri Bardouin’s small distillery can be found in an Upper Provence town known for medicinal herbs. Here, 65 plants and spices – such as thyme and fennel harvested on-site to Tonka beans and cardamom procured from further away – come together in his artisanal line-up, creating his signature pastis that bears each bottle’s vintage stamp.
Pastis olive is a French drink crafted by steeping herbs and spices in alcohol for several hours before refining to produce an anise-flavored aperitif drink. While its roots lie with Mediterranean anise-flavored drinks like ouzo and sambuca, its distinctive taste differentiates it.
Backyard distillers began creating it as an alternative to absinthe, which had become widely popular at the time but was banned due to its hallucinogenic effects. They experimented with different combinations of herbs and alcohol in an effort to recreate its flavor.
Pastis recipes are closely guarded secrets and each producer may make its own version of this liqueur, however pastis olive generally contains licorice root and an aromatic mix such as thyme, rosemary, fennel seeds, sage leaves and verbena which is macerated in alcohol for several weeks or months to produce a fragrant drink.
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Henri Bardouin Pastis, made in Provence from over 65 herbs and spices, is one of France’s premier brands of anise-flavored spirit and often enjoyed as an aperitif before meals.
McNally also owns the highly regarded New York City restaurants Balthazar and Pastis, frequented by Carrie Bradshaw on multiple episodes of Sex and the City. Furthermore, Henri Bardouin products can be found throughout many countries worldwide.