Anisette, or Anis, is an anise-flavored liqueur that is consumed in most Mediterranean countries, mainly in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Cyprus, Israel, and France. It is colorless, and because it contains sugar, is sweeter than dry anise flavoured spirits (e.g. absinthe). The most traditional style of anisette is that produced by means of distilling aniseed, and is differentiated from those produced by simple maceration by the inclusion of the word distilled on the label. And while Pastis is a similar-tasting liqueur that is prepared in similar fashion and sometimes confused with anisette, it employs a combination of both aniseed and licorice root extracts. Sambuca is essentially an anisette of Italian origin that requires a high minimum (350g/l) sugar content.
The liqueur is not commonly taken straight on account of its strong flavour. It is often mixed simply with water, where it produces a milky white consistency. All the liqueur has to be dropped into very cold water at the same moment. Pouring it from a bottle even quickly does not produce the same result. A very white liquid denotes that a good anisette has been used.
Anise-flavoured alcohols from other parts of the world include Aguardiente from Colombia and Mexico.
Anise liqueur was also introduced to the Philippines by the Spanish, which developed into the local anisado, an anise-flavored liqueur usually made from distilled sugarcane wine. A notable variant of Filipino anisado with sugar is known as anisado Mallorca, or simply Mallorca. They are commonly used as ingredients in Filipino cuisine.