24 March 2008

Pastis Henri Bardouin

The Beauty Shop is a restaurant in Cooper-Young built in a former hair salon. Much has been written about the creative accoutrements such as the old hairwashing sinks (still in use for more restaurant-appropriate purposes). I was there having a late brunch at the bar and reading the paper when I spied something interesting up on the wall. It was a bottle of Pastis Henri Bardouin, and although it was a bit early in the day I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try it.

As a big fan of the Peter Mayle books set in Provence, I always wondered what pastis tasted like. The characters in his memoirs and novels seem to go through gallons of the stuff. I just finished re-reading A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence for the dozenth time and the curiosity was fresh in my mind.

Golden yellow color, a bit strong at first but it warms you up and finishes smooth. The aroma is beautiful, full of fennel and aromatic spices. As with some other anise-flavored liqueurs out there, you really have to like licorice to be able to drink this. Here's some more info on the 50 ingredients that go into this pastis.

One website describes it in part as "...stimulating the palate without anesthetizing it". And while my palate was fine, my feet were starting to get numb and I didn't finish the rather generous portion. Developed as a legal alternative after absinthe was banned, it's normally diluted with water or ice to make a lighter, more refreshing beverage.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Such a pity that beauty salons today wouldn1t swap the cup of coffee for a glass of wine. You may bet the diary would be filled with appointments.