Why pastis (ouzo & absinthe) turns cloudy in water

Why pastis (ouzo & absinthe) turns cloudy in water

Kiss me, I’m French! Not really, but I love pastis, an anise-flavored liqueur and apéritif from France that contains 40–45% alcohol by volume. The first time I drank pastis was, as it should be, on a trip through France as a teen. Aside from wine & beer, it was my first alcohol drink.

Pastis is commonly served diluted with water, and when diluted the solution immediately turns cloudy. Finally, after years of lazy curiosity, I took the trouble to find out why…

The pastis beverages will become cloudy when diluted because they are aniseed-based. These beverages contain oils called terpenes, which are soluble in an aqueous solution that contains 30% ethanol or more by volume. When the solution is diluted to below 30% ethanol, the terpenes become insoluble; this causes a cloudy precipitate to form in the solution. The same chemistry causes absinthe to go cloudy when diluted.

via Pernod Ricard – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Pastis is one of France’s most popular drinks, with annual consumption averaging more than 2 liters per person.

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