All posts filed under: Pastis

Women in STEM and Ancient Alchemists

Yes, there is an overlap between my work with Leading Women and my Sip.Savor.Adventure! hobby. It goes beyond the fact that my first official connection is with a woman-owned and operated distillery. The overlap goes back to the tradition of alchemy in ancient times. Here’s how I know. Alchemists from the Ancient World I turn to Wikipedia to learn about the distillation process. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, to read that Cleopatra* the Alchemist (a woman who lived 1800 years ago) is believed to have invented the alembic still – a precursor to the pot still used to distill liquor. I often use the hashtag, #AnonymousWasAWoman and am not surprised to read that “Cleopatra is a pseudonym for an author whose real name has been lost.” Apparently, women in STEM have had their voices muffled for at least 1800 years. In this case, at least, they get her gender right! The alchemist known as Mary the Jewess lived perhaps as many as 200 years before Cleopatra. If you’ve ever melted chocolate or made custard …

Thanking Peter for Pastis

“For me, the most powerful ingredient in pastis is not aniseed or alcohol but ambiance, and that dictates how and where it should be drunk. I cannot imagine drinking it in a hurry. I cannot imagine drinking it in a pub in Fulham, a bar in New York, or anywhere that requires its customers to wear socks. It wouldn’t taste the same. There has to be heat and sunlight and the illusion that the clock has stopped. I have to be in Provence.” Peter Mayle, Toujours Provence I won’t lie. I’ve read every “move away to live a new life” book I can lay my hands on. Walden Pond in high school, Chop Wood, Carry Water, in my 20s and uncounted others since – including Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence (which came along when my son, Justin, was entering the terrible 3s and running away to start a new life seemed like a sensible thing to do.) Four years later, when the book was turned into a mini-series, Justin and I loved watching it …

Tasting Party!

Last night we had our first anise liquor tasting party. In preparation for my trip to sip along the Adriatic, we sipped 2 brands of pastis and an Italian anisette, tested the new Sip.Savor.Adventure! Tasting Template (which definitely needs a bit of work), and savored an array of typical appetizers. Sadly, there are no action photos because Jim neglected to give my my very first lesson in how to use my new Canon Powershot SX60 16.1MP Digital Camera. (Note to self: always take it with you!) We learned at least 5 things (maybe more, but I confess my memory is a bit clouded): Straight up, the pastises by Pernod and Ricard burn the lips. No wonder a dilution of cold water is recommended. Meletti Anisette isn’t an aperitif – it’s sweet and better suited to after dinner. If I had read the bottle, I would have known that. And it doesn’t louche! Hmmm – something to seek further to understand. Also, more than the others, the anisette has legs. This makes sense because it is relatively …