Ricard Pastis De Marseille 70cl
This French liquorice based spirit is one of Europe’s and the world’s best-selling spirit brands. It dates back to 1932 when the 22 year-old Paul Ricard created his aniseed-flavoured drink and established a firm in Marseille to produce and market what he called pastis. Although the firm of Ricard Pastis de Marseille is still based in Marseille, production now takes place in Bessan, a small village in Southern France (blending and bottling also takes place in Bordeaux and Lille).
Ricard Pastis de Marseille is flavoured with liquorice root, the bark of which is shaved off by hand to leave the core which is then shredded and placed in a percolator through which alcohol and purified water at 42% abv is forced under pressure. This is repeated three times so that the alcohol takes on the flavour and aroma of the liquorice. This same process is also used to extract flavours of seven different aromatic herbs from Provence. The other key ingredient to Ricard is green anise and fennel, the essence of which is rectified to produce anethole essence.
These three separate ingredients are blended together with neutral alcohol, and sugar (less than 100 grams sugar per litre). Caramel is also added, which adds to the distinctive yellow colour the liquorice content gives Ricard. The anethole is extremely rich in flavour and only 1.5 to 2 grams are required to flavour a litre of Ricard. The finished product is then triple filtered through mineral and cellulose filters before bottling.
Clear, golden amber. Turns cloudy with water.
There’s a green, almost grassy, note to the pungent anise and liquorice nose.
The muscular palate demands taming with. Rich anise, but bone dry with a touch of fennel and herbal complexity, soft liquorice and minty lemon freshness.
Long lingering herbal liquorice.