Friday, August 6, 2010


Ricard, also known as "pastis" of Marseilles, is a yellow aniseed-based aperitif.  This was invented by Paul Ricard in 1932. Paul's father was a wine merchant in Marseille and took his young son to many bistrots where pastis was "brewed" in the back of the shop. Paul decided to distil his own and sell it to bistrot owners. His pastis was like many others but he added an ingredient others lacked – promotion and clever marketing. He called his pastis "Le vrai pastis de Marseille", and soon it became the best known, best selling pastis in the city.  For us Americans, we think of a tall, cold beer on a hot summer day, especially when the sun is shining, but for the Frenchies it's a refreshing pastis. This can be served with some great appetizers but it can be as simple as chips, nuts or olives. You can find this at your local Beverage & More, or if you go to France, be sure to buy a bottle or 2 at the duty free counter (it's less expensive)! Alcohol content is 45* proof. To serve it you put about 2.5 to 3 cl in a glass and add about 5x its volume of water (it turns a milky yellow), add an ice cube or 2 but be sure to add that last to avoid crystallization.  "Pastaga" is the slang word for pastis and pastis is also a word meaning mixed or confused in the local dialect of Provence. Wow, sounds all confusing huh?  Well it is "l'heure de Pastis" chin, cheers, sante!!!

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