Pastis for all seasons

© T.Joly
Numerous craft pastis have been launched in the last decade. Complex and aromatic, these are fine spirits you can drink all year round and even pair with somes dishes

[ Information ]

- Pastis Château des Creissauds

- Pastis Henri Bardouin

- Pastis de l’Ile de Ré

- Chez Janou
2 Rue Roger Verlomme, 75003 Paris
Tel : 0142722841
Iconic summer and sunny day drink closely associated to the game of petanque, pastis is not limited to the famous brands found on all shops and supermarkets shelves such as Ricard, Pernod, Pastis 51 or Casanis. Since the end of the 80s, in the wake of the Henri Bardouin brand dozens of craft distilleries from Provence but also from all over France have launched more complex pastis made with a large number of aromatic plants or comprising original ingredients such as seaweeds in the case of the Pastis Marin produced in Brittany.

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 80 pastis on the drink menu
So, nowadays, it does exist pastis drinkable in all seasons and able to please fine spirit lovers. Some of them can even pair with dishes and accompany a meal. Unfortunately, many of them are only produced on limited quantities and are difficult to find outside the distillery shop, the area they are produced and a few liquor stores.
Neverthless, you can taste all of them in Paris, «Chez Janou», a Provence restaurant located in the 3rd arrondissement that boasts more than 80 pastis on its drink menu. Among them is one of our favorites, the Château des Creissauds that, according to Abel, the manager of the restaurant, pairs perfectly with magret de canard. It is one of the two vintage pastis on the market because plants used to make it are only grown on the distillery estate without irrigation. Therefore they have an aromatic profile that differs from one year to another and so the pastis.

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 Aged in barrels
And it is not just a sales pitch, you really notice a difference of taste between the 2014, the 2015, the 2016 and the 2017. The 2017 was only recently released because the production of this out of the ordinary pastis takes time. Harvested from March to November, fresh plants are first macerated separately in jar in superior quality alcohol. Then, once macerates are blended, this pastis spends another year in oak barrels. This aging time adds not only to its complexity but also to its variability depending on whether the barrels are new or have already been used. "And contrary to what most people believe, pastis still evolves in the bottle. Over the year the sugar becomes more honeyed while tannins coming from plants and barrels become more silky "says Guillaume Ferroni, the director of the distillery.

© T.Joly
 Pastis for all tastes
But it’s not the only upmarket pastis you can find at Janou restaurant. If you like aromatic and complex pastis, you should also taste Pastis des Terres Rouges from the eponymous distillery, in Corrèze. You won’t be disappointed. Give also a try to Pastis Lou Castellanou from the Aravis Distillery near Annecy, and for those produced in Provence, to Pastis Camarguais à l’Ancienne from A. Blachère distillery or Pastis Domaine des Restanques from Jean Boyer distillery. If you are looking for more refreshing pastis with a lighter taste, try the Pastis de l’Ile de Ré, also labeled with a vintage, that Abel adives to pair with a grilled sea bass.

May 13, 2019
Thierry Joly