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According to an antique tradition, all the countries of the Mediterranean basin have an anise based national liqueur. Italy has Sambuca. It is a sweet and strong liqueur, containing essential oils obtained by steam distilling the seeds of star anise, which are soluble in pure alcohol. A concentrated solution of sugar and other natural aromas are added to this.
Already known and appreciated in ancient times for its therapeutic properties, the anise plant, originating from China, became widespread through the centuries in the countries of the Mediterranean coast, where it became widely used for preparing typical dishes and desserts. Above all, the oils obtained from anise were used by liqueur firms to produce a selection of liqueurs such as:
French Pastis, Spanish Anis, Turkish Raki and Greek Ouzo.
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