When I returned from France last summer, tucked into my suitcase was a small bottle of Ricard Pastis de Marseille.
While every French and francophile in the world knows about pastis, until last summer I had never tasted it. It took a more than a few sips to get used to the anise flavor, but by the end of my stay in France, I could say that I enjoyed it.
The clear, amber liquid turns a milky white when mixed with water, and is referred to as the milk of Provence. Pastis has an interesting history, and the story of Ricard Pastis, annointed "le vrai pastis de Marseille,” is worthy of a novel.
I bought a bottle and brought it home with me, put it my pantry. There it waits for that first warm weather evening when I'll bring out the pastis, serve up an apéro, and immediately be transported back to those wonderful late afternoons and evenings in Annecy.