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, Palestine 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 often mixed with water or poured over ice cubes because of its strong flavour.
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.