It’s National Anisette Day! What’s anisette, you might ask? It’s a liqueur that’s distilled from aniseed, that bitter, licorice-y tasting spice. Which makes for a very strong, bitter tasting liqueur! It’s suggested that anisette not be drunk straight, as the strength of the flavor and the alcohol content itself can burn your throat. But as a liquor in a mixed drink? Everyone seems to love it! When you use it as the alcohol in a cocktail, anisette turns sweet, but still has that slightly licorice flavor for those who enjoy it. That’s why it’s popular with Bailey’s Irish creme, coffee, or even mixed just with water.
One of the most popular ways to enjoy anisette, though, is in a cookie. The popular anisette cookies maintain that licorice flavor, but when baked into a cookie–sometimes thin, even wafer-like, or other times thick and brittle like a biscotti–the sugar and other components of the dough meter out the bitter flavor. You can get these at any Italian bakery that offers those amazingly great Italian pastry/cookie samplers (damn, how much of my childhood is wrapped up in Italian pastries!). And Pasticceria Rocco is one of the best places for anisette cookies in that variety pack. They offer both anisette cookies and biscotti, so you can have your pick of that unique anise flavor! And if you enjoy your cookies with a good cup of coffee, make sure to slip a little Sambuca anisette liqueur into the cup for a true National Anisette Day experience 😉
243 Bleecker St (between Carmine St & Leroy St)
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Italian pastries are my weakness, everything in this place is to die for. I usually buy assorted cookies, anisette toasts, and torrone and ship it to my family in MS. Even they love it after 3-5 business days of being in transit! I love the feel of this place as well, there is one older Italian gentleman who makes the experience authentic and I love how they wrap your box in thread (it’s the little things, ya know?) LOVE IT!”–Kim R.
“My favorite thing is the Rainbow cookies, the Anisette cookies, the Pignoli cookies, Sfogliatellas, cheesecakes, and the Napoleon…yummy!!”–Marlena W.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!