Just about anywhere besides the U.S., you’ll discover a long-standing tradition of anise-flavored spirits. Europe lays claim to pastis in France, sambuca in Italy, and in Greece alone, tsipouro, mastika, and ouzo. Colombians imbibe the “fiery water” that is aguardiente, while Levantines enjoy “the milk of lions,” or arak.
For many Americans, the first encounter with anise-flavored beverages comes in the form of a Jägerbomb at a college party—and even that’s German. But Paul Geller is hoping to expand the palettes of licorice loathers with Basbas, the first premium hierbas brand available in the U.S. Hailing from Santa Eulària, Ibiza, the herbaceous liqueur features notes of citrus, sage, rosemary, and anise.