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Requested Recipe:


"Jack, I've been looking for a recipe for anise wine. I haven't been
able to find one. A source (I'm not sure how reliable) said that it
was a hallucinogen and that why I couldn't find it? Have any
answers? If it's not, do you have a recipe?"
Chuck Yeager


Nothing I can find indicates anise is a hallucinogen. It is widely used in the production of liqueurs and candies all over the world and has medicinal properties as well. More to the point, it does not appear on any toxicity list I have found to date. Thus, I think we can give it a pretty clean bill of health. There are, however, two distinct kinds of anise -- the Mediterranean anise (Pimpinella anisum) and the Asian anise (Illicium vernum), or star anise. It is the second that is recommended for winemaking purposes because the seeds of the first contain a worrisome oil.

One does not make anise wine per se, but rather makes another wine and flavors it with anise (star anise). With this in mind, I will offer you two recipes for anise wine. One is grape-based and the other is potato -based.

Anise Wine (Grape-Based)

Bring 1 quart water to boil and dissolve the sugar in the water. Remove from heat and add frozen concentrate. Add additional water to make 7 pints total volume and pour into secondary. Add remaining ingredients except anise and yeast. Place crushed anise in small piece of cloth with a glass marble in it. Gather cloth around contents and tie closed with long piece of button thread. Sink the cloth packet in secondary but retain loose end of thread outside secondary. Cover mouth of secondary with napkin, paper towel or cloth fastened with rubber band and set aside 12 hours. Add activated wine yeast and recover. When active fermentation slows down (about 7-9 days), remove cloth packet, top up with water and attach airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock after 60 days. After additional 60 days, stabilize, sweeten if desired and set aside under airlock additional 2 weeks. If no sign of refermentation, rack into bottles. [Author's own recipe]

Anise Wine (Potato-Based)

Use well-scrubbed, older potatoes (under-ripe, still greenish potatoes are toxic). Boil the potatoes in a gallon of water until tender but the skins unbroken. Remove the potatoes for other uses and retain the water for the wine. Put the sugar and the thinly peeled rinds (no pith, please) of the lemons and oranges and their juice in the water. Thinly slice the ginger root and add to water. Crush the star anises and add these to water. Bring water to boil, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes while stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and strain water into primary. Cover with sterile cloth and allow to cool to 70 degrees F. Add pectic enzyme and yeast nutrient, recover and set aside for 12 hours. Add activated wine yeast and ferment 7 days, stirring daily. Siphon into secondary, affix airlock and set aside to ferment out. Rack after 60 days, top up and reattach airlock. When wine clears, rack again, top up and reattach airlock. After 4 months, stabilize and rack into bottles. [Author's own recipe]

My thanks to Chuck Yeager for this request.

This page was updated on August 31st, 2001

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