Pastis is une boisson alcoolisée à base d’anis et de réglisse (anise and licorice-flavored alcohol drink). It is a considered a refreshing drink and therefore popular on hot summer days. It can be had on its own, or served as an apéritif (an alcoholic drink taken as an appetizer before a meal).
It was the young Paul Ricard who in 1932, after the demise of the anis-based absinthe in 1915, invented the first French long drink. It became an instant hit, with the slogan: “Il s’appellera Ricard, le vrai pastis de Marseille!” (It will be called Ricard, the real pastis from Marseille!)
Pastis is one volume of pastis with five volumes of water, served with ice.
It is especially popular in the south and in Marseille – the city is it most associated with -, where it is also called un jaune (a yellow) or un pastaga. There, the ubiquitous games of pétanque are often accompanied with this refreshing classic.