Licorice is often in a love-hate relationship — haters toss the black jelly beans, lovers rifle through the bag to find them. If you’re a fan of licorice, this summer you’ll want to be sipping drinks with licorice notes from sambuca, Peychaud’s, pastis, anisette, absinthe, and ouzo. Here are five licorice cocktails you won’t want to miss.
The Fountain Lounge, New Orleans, Louisiana
Sip a celebrated Sazerac cocktail at this historical spot, also home to the historic Sazerac Bar. Invented in 1850ish in a saloon in the city’s Exchange Valley, the iconic cocktail served in a Sazerac glass is stirred with Sazerac 6-Year-Old Rye Whiskey, simple syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters, and a Herbsaint rinse. A lemon wheel clings to the rim. Make a reservation at The Fountain Lounge.
Bleu Boheme, San Diego, California
The La Vie en Rose is a nod to the classic Death in the Afternoon cocktail, poured with Ricard, Champagne, muddled raspberries, and a splash of simple syrup and lemon. Ricard is a pastis that, along with Pernod, became popular during the absinthe ban. Bartender Sarah Proctor prefers Ricard “because it is a grape-based distillate like the original absinthe, not grain like other brands.” Make a reservation at Bleu Boheme.
The Fitz, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Do the licorice twist on the classic French 75 at this Art Deco spot in the Ambassador Hotel. The hotel debuted in 1928 and its staff is keen on creating cocktails that were popular in the ’20s. The retro Sambuca 75 cocktail is created with Sambuca, lemon juice, and simple syrup and it’s topped with Champagne and a dash of Jamaican Bitters. Kissed with an expressed lemon peel garnish. Make a reservation at The Fitz.