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Jun 11, 2007 01:38 PM

different pastis brands?

My recollection from a French friend is that there are two popular brands of pastis- one more candy-like and one more herbal tasting. Can anyone help me with the names? I'm interested in the more herbal flavored of the two. I've tried the other. I'm confused by what looks like the merging of the Pernod and Ricard brands.

Thank you.

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  1. You may be thinking of Henri Bardouin, my favorite of the French pastis brands I can easily find in Greater Boston. It's an artisanal product, with much more herbal complexity than the more candy-like products bottled by the Pernod Ricard company.

    6 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      I am so glad this posting is here!

      I just moved back to Boston and have a revived taste for pastis, but I am not sure where to get it as I never bought it here before. Any suggestions?

      1. re: kziemer

        I'm pretty positive you can get it at Martignetti Liquors 1650 Soldiers Field Road. With regards to the two brands of pastis, you are probably thinking of Pastis 51 (Cinquante et un) and Ricard.

        1. re: kziemer

          Pernod is very easy to find in Boston-area liquor stores, Ricard a little less so. Henri Bardouin and Absente aren't as hard to find as they used to be, but still require a trip to a big place with a good selection of obscure and premium liquors, like Blanchard's, Martignetti's (the one on Soldiers Field Road that joshkg cites is excellent), or Marty's. I'm still looking for a reliable source for Herbsaint.

          Brix Wine Shop in Boston's South End will special-order just about anything for you, though their premium on liquor is sometimes rather high, e.g., $35 for a tequila that I can easily find elsewhere for $20.

        2. re: MC Slim JB

          I recently found Henry Bourdain at Gordon's in Waltham! Yay!
          They also had a few other French brands (in addition to the "usual suspects").

          1. re: Lgalen

            What fun to have these threads go on for 6+ years! I should report that I was in Provence in 2010, and we made a concerted effort to seek out and try as many Pastis brands as possible. While we found many that we'd never seen here in the US, our favorite remained the Henri Bardouin. We never did find Pastis des Terres Rouges in the blue bottle, however.

            1. re: concordjeff

              Yes, and fun that you responded after so long a time. I will now go look for this Henri Bardouin for my dinner party on Saturday. I made some pastis, but I had an accident. My first batch was too strong in terms of spices, and the second batch was actually an absinthe liqueur, because it contained actual wormwood, mugwort, and star anise. While the absinthe one is pleasant to taste, I'm afraid to serve it because of the wormwood. What do you think about serving it?

        3. Pernod and Ricard are both awful. There are much better ones, and I can't recall their names...I'll repost when I go to my girlfriends where the two bottles are stashed.

          I just had Cambridge Mall Liquors on Fresh Pond Parkway order some for me in a blue was wonderful stuff....(I better go pick it up before you grab it).

          I've also found Ouzo to be a nice and cheaper substitute.

          6 Replies
          1. re: concordjeff

            OK...the blue bottle is Pastis des Terres Rouges..that's the one that Cambridge Mall Liquors ordered for me. The other good one is Henri Bardouin

            1. re: concordjeff


              Thanks for bringing these to our attention here. Just out of curiosity, where would you say these two brands fall on the “more candy like” vs. “more herbal” scale that the original poster mentioned.....?

              Uncle Ira

              1. re: Uncle Ira

                I'd put both in the herbal category. Not sure I've tasted the "candy like" versions. Pernod and Ricard are just flat tasting...nothing interesting going on, and one of them has caramel coloring added which I find detracts from that nice white or white/green cloudy look.

                1. re: concordjeff

                  I have read that some of the herbs that may be included are things like orris root (from the roots of an iris type), cardamom, and cinnamon, along with many other things. I suppose any number of Mediterranean spices could be considered.

            2. re: concordjeff

              Cambridge Mall Liquors (now Cambridge Wine and Spirits) is decent.
              I found Ricard at Kappy's (Malden) in 2010 and 2011 (they still have it today, Dec 2012).
              I think some of the other better liquor stores (Ball Square Fine Wines, Wollaston Wine and Spirits, Blanchards West Roxbury, Curtis Liquors in Weymouth) also have Pastis.
              Wollaston, Bauer Wines on Newbury St, and Blanchards West Roxbury have Bardouin, Curtis has Granier, supposedly Ball Square has Ricard.
              Martignetti has Prado and Granier and 90'.

              I think the caramel coloring is supposed to be there, since if you put 1 part pastis over rocks first, then dilute with 5 parts water, it is supposed to cloud up (that's what the caramel coloring does?)

              1. re: cbosoenophile

                per wikipedia it is the chemicals present in anise seed based products. The increase in water causes the chemicals to become insoluble and thus cloud the drink