A few weeks ago, I stopped by Penzey’s Spices to buy some star anise. This beautiful spice was to be used in a dish I was making called Tee Pon Pork. The salesperson at the checkout asked me if I was making liqueur. (I had also picked up some vanilla bean.) When I indicated that I wasn’t, he offered that many people had been in recently purchasing these ingredients to make their “fall liqueurs.” Intrigued, I started reading online about anise-flavored liqueurs. I found several recipes talking about herbal libations made with anise, fennel, and other seeds. Then, I found the anise and vanilla bean recipe. Very simple…very easy.
1 750ML bottle of vodka
3-4 star anise
1 vanilla bean, split in half to expose seeds
Drop the anise and vanilla into a bottle of vodka. Let steep for several weeks. If you’d like a sweeter liqueur, add some simple syrup after straining out the vanilla and anise. I’m going to store mine in the freezer once made so I have the liqueur on hand chilled and ready to go.