Anisette Day - July 2nd
July 2 is the day of anise drinks, alcoholic beverages made from the fermentation and refining of alcohol and the soaking of the fruits of the anise plant in the liquid.
Anise drinks are consumed in most Mediterranean countries, mainly in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Cyprus, Israel and France. The anise drink is colorless, and when mixed with water or other liquids a cloudy white color is obtained. This is because the drinks are made up of alcohol and oil distilled from the anise seeds. Anise seed oil does not dissolve in water (a feature called hydrophobicity) but dissolves in the alcohol. When water is added to the anise and alcohol mixture, the alcohol concentration decreases and the average polarity increases to such an extent that the anise oil no longer melts in it and it separates out of the mixture while creating very tiny drops. The round oil droplets refract the light rays that hit them in all directions and the result is that the resulting drink looks white, the condition that occurs is called an emulsion.
The anise drinks are made from several plants: anise, simple fennel, wormwood, shrub wormwood and ice licorice.
Aniseed drinks are very popular and are drunk in different places in different forms.
The different types of aniseed drinks and the countries in which they are drunk:
In the Middle East, arak (Arabic: عَرَق) is an alcoholic beverage produced mainly in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Israel. The name originated in Arabic, and means "sweat" (due to the refining process by evaporation and dripping).
In Greece they drink Ouzo (Greek: Ούζο), a drink made from grapes or crushed raisins, sometimes with the addition of spices and other fruits during the fermentation stage. The mixture can be added, according to the manufacturer's choice, to additional ingredients such as coriander, cloves, angel root, licorice, mint, fennel, almonds, cinnamon and horseradish.
In Turkey they drink Raki and in Tunisia they drink Boukha.
In Europe, absinthe is drunk, which contains a high percentage of ethanol and is seasoned with plant extracts, including the wormwood plant from the absinthe wormwood species. The color of the drink is green, and its taste is reminiscent of the taste of anise. It is sometimes mistakenly referred to as "liqueur", but absinthe is not bottled with added sugar and is therefore classified as a distilled liquor or spirit.
In France they drink pastis. (French: Pastis), a French liqueur and aperitif which usually contains 40-45% alcohol by volume (there are also non-alcoholic types). The name originates from an Occitan language, a southern French dialect, meaning "cake" or "mixture", or "narrow", "unpleasantness" or "confusing situation".
In Italy Sambuca is drunk and legend has it that when a girl would bring her heart choice to her parents, they would dine together. At the end of the meal the mother of the family would serve a sambuca. If the father received the drink with three coffee beans (a sign of the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) a sign that the mother had given her approval.
In Central Asia they drink Kumis which is made from mare's milk or donkey milk in a horse-skin container called "Saba". The drink contains small amounts of alcohol so drink large amounts to feel drunk.
July 2 is also UFO Day
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