Anis, Spain

Chichaito and Anise Culture in Puerto Rico

Sitting on Elva’s front porch drinking in the view of the Caribbean, I wasn’t much interested in my friend’s conversation about an evening spent drinking chichaito until Elva explained to Peg (who was new to the coffee klatch) that “Chichaito is a drink of rum with anise-flavored liquor on top, usually Paloma.”

Well, I perked right up. Anise-flavored liquor? What kind? I was so oblivious to the possibility that Puerto Rico would have an anise culture that I had never even bothered to look for anise liquor in the stores here. So, what’s the next logical step, go shopping!

Since I’m focusing on anise culture around the Mediterranean, I, for now, look past the several liqueurs distilled/blended on the island in pursuit of any imported from Spain and I find a bottle of Anis del Mono Seco.

Anis del Mono Seco

Ah ha! I had read about Anis del Mono ages ago when first researching anise culture around the Mediterranean and here I find it in Rincon, Puerto Rico. There’s something both magical and not quite right about that. On second thought, it shouldn’t be surprising that a culture with strong Spanish roots would also enjoy anise culture.

So I head out to search for a second bottle for a tasting party. The only other bottle is the sweet version of Anis del Mono which will make for a challenging party. Strangely, one liquor store had Ricard Pastis (which I bypassed having had a fun tasting party in Rhode Island…not to mention France).

Now to plan a tasting.

Salud!