anise seed

Pimpinella anisum. A native of the Middle East with a similar flavor to fennel and star anise. “Anise was first cultivated in Egypt and the Middle East, and was brought to Europe for its medicinal value. … Western cuisines have long used anise to flavor dishes, drinks, and candies. … Anise is used to flavor Greek ouzo; Italian sambuca; Bulgarian mastika; French absinthe, anisette, and pastis; Spanish Anís del Mono, Anísado and Herbs de Majorca; Turkish and Armenian rakı; Lebanese, Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian arak; and Algerian Anisette Cristal. Outside the Mediterranean region, it is found in Colombian aguardiente and Mexican Xtabentún. These liquors are clear, but on addition of water become cloudy, a phenomenon known as the ouzo effect. Anise is used together with other herbs and spices in some root beers, such as Virgil’s in the United States.” (Wikipedia)

Ground Ivy Gruit Porter

Ground Ivy Gruit Porter

Ground Ivy, AKA alehoof or gill-over-the-ground, is an historically important brewing herb that I’d never fully appreciated until encountering it in its native land.