1 part pastis
5 parts *chilled water
*Ice cubes are usually snubbed. However, in extreme cases of desperation when spontaneity precludes chilling the water, be sure to add the ice AFTER mixing the liquids.
Tip: To maximize the “wow” factor, serve guests the pastis straight and allow them to dilute it using water from a pitcher.
Pastis is one of France’s most popular drinks. Served cold, this anis-flavored apéritif is often associated with sunny vacations and games of pétanque.
Liquor.com (http://liquor.com/video/ricard-pastis/) shows you how to make the simple drink using one of the earliest pastis brands: Ricard. Bottles of Ricard’s “51” (cinquante-et-un) are widely available outside France, in fact you’ve probably already seen it at your local liquor store. This mass produced industrial liquor was named for the year (1951) when the French government lifted a three and a half decade long ban on anise-based apéritifs meant to prohibit absinthe.
Most of the pastis available outside of France is actually made by adding caramel color and flavors, including Asian star anise and/or licorice root, to a flavorless base alcohol. If you are lucky enough to have access to traditional artisanal-style pastis distilled with real herbs, look for Armand Guy’s Pontarlier-Anis. European green anis is distilled in the Franche-Comté region to give Guy’s pastis an unmatched flavor.
The ingredients aren’t what is important to author Peter Mayle though: "For me, the most powerful ingredient in pastis is not aniseed or alcohol but ambiance, and that dictates how and where it should be drunk. I cannot imagine drinking it in a hurry.
"I cannot imagine drinking it in a pub in Fulham, a bar in New York, or anywhere that requires its customers to wear socks. It wouldn't taste the same. There has to be heat and sunlight and the illusion that the clock has stopped.”
So if you have a little time this week-end, take a cue from Mayle and kickback outside with a glass of pastis and maybe a little pétanque.