Liqueurs usually come in a variety of flavors because of the infusions of spices, herbs, and fruits into the alcohol base. Originally, these beverages were used as medicines and can be traced back to their popular usage in the 13th century by the Italians and Egyptians. One of the first known anise liqueurs was created by a French resident named Marie Brizard. She took the initiative and created a sweet anise flavored liqueur. The most popular anise based liqueur was made by Henri-Louis Pernod and it was called absinthe. He then went on to create the world famous Pernod Company.
Anise liqueurs come in different types and flavors across the world. The more famous of these liqueurs are: Absinthe (from the French-Swiss border), Anis and Ojen (the popular Spanish liqueurs), Ouzo and Mistra (from Greece), Anisette and Pastis (another popular liqueur in France), Raki (from Turkey), Kasra (from Libya), and the Anesone and Sambuca (from Italy). The Anise liqueurs are made using the spice anise or star anise or licorice. Anise is a flowering plant is native to the Mediterranean region. It was used as a spice in foods and as a medicine for its properties as a relaxant and laxative. The natural advantage of the spice being a relaxant was then used to make this liqueur. Anise liqueur is now well-known for its taste the world over.
One of the distinct properties of anise liqueurs is that they turn cloudy or milky when mixed with cold water. This effect is generally known as the Ouzo effect. This effect is caused because the essential oil of anise (called Anethole) is soluble only in alcohol and not in water. Adding cold water releases this oil. It is also a known fact that although Anise liqueurs are generally categorized as liqueurs, they have no added sugar in them. That technically makes it a spirit. The most famous cocktails the use the Anise liqueurs as an ingredient are: the Flaming Lamborgini, the 46 Magnum, the Flaming Sambuca, the Russian Roulette, the B-53, the Vulcan Mind-probe, the Sazerac, and the Bailey's Comet.