The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005
Food and Drink
Anisette is a liqueur distilled from the herb anise (Pimpinella anisum). It gained popularity following the ban of absinthe as its taste is somewhat similar, although its alcohol content is much lower. Anise has many magical uses; like wormwood, it is believed to guard against malevolent magic.
Anisette, however, was particularly beloved by spiritualists: because anisette is believed to be particularly appealing to dead souls it is a popular component of séances, necromantic summoning spells, and ancestral offerings. Anisette allegedly serves as an invitation, summoning ghosts and ancestors to visit.
Anisette, like absinthe, is often diluted with water. A glass of anisette, served neat or diluted, is often incorporated into séances, Dumb Suppers (see CALENDAR: Halloween) or ancestral altars. The formula known as Spirit Water is a further dilution: a tablespoon or splash of anisette is added to a glass of spring water and placed on an altar to beckon the spirits.
Anisette, like absinthe, was often identified as a woman’s drink. True anisette is a distilled drink. Commercial anisettes are readily available; homemade infusions of anise are easily concocted.