Lemon Anise Slush

Lemon Anise Slush Recipe


I tend to go heavy on the lemon zest around here. Those of you who have been visiting for a while have likely noticed. Most of the time I use the corresponding lemon juice in ice water, sparkling water, or salad dressing. Nothing too exciting. But a number of you have asked if I do anything interesting with the stockpile of lemons they rightly assume I accumulate. So I thought I'd share this lemon anise slush recipe with you. Adapted from a recipe in an old issue (2004?) of Gourmet magazine, I make it on the nicest summer days here in San Francisco.

Lemon Anise Slushy Recipe

The thing that makes this special is the hint of unexpected anise flavor which pairs nicely with refreshing lemon. It's one variable I keep constant here. That said, there are a number of ways to approach this quencher. The original recipe calls for either water, or vodka (if you're not messing around) as the base. I tend to make this as a mid-day treat and find that water works great. Yogurt is an alternative if you're up for something creamier and more substantial. Or(!) a pilsner in place of the water takes its cue from a shandy, which I love. My sister makes me limoncello from her lemon tree (Heather, I'm running dangerously low!), and a small splash of that to finish things off here is lemon-kissed heaven. Optional, but if you happen to have some on hand, give it a try.

This is the sort of thing I make over and over, and tweak and make notes as I go. I have one more idea related to the anise seeds that I haven't had a chance to explore yet. I think I want to try to let the seeds sit in the 3/4 cup / 180ml vodka ahead of time (hours? overnight? couple days?). I think the seeds are alcohol-soluble, and might infuse the vodka nicely. Then proceed with the recipe as written. Don't fault me if I'm off the mark here :)...but let me know if you give it a try.

 
 
 
 

Lemon Anise Slush

I like to crush the anise seeds a bit with my mortar and pestle before adding them to the blender, with the idea that it makes it easier for the blender to break down the seeds a bit. But I'm not actually sure it helps, and think of it more of an optional step than anything.

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/3 cup sugar or honey, plus more to taste
3/4 teaspoon anise seeds

1 cup water or yogurt (vodka or pilsner for adult version)

ice cubes, to fill blender
water
2 tablespoons limoncello, optional but excellent!

Blend juice, sugar or honey, and seeds in a blender until the seeds break up quite a bit, at least thirty seconds. Longer if needed.

Add the water (or vodka, yogurt, pils), and enough ice to fill the blender. Blend until smooth. I sometimes need to add more water, to thin things out a bit and keep the blender going - do so a bit at a time. Depending on your blender, you might also need to stop on occasion to scrape the sides of the blender to get an even slush. Adjust for sweetness and lemon juice as you go. Serve immediately.


Serves 4-6.


Prep time: 5 min

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Your Comments


Marlen
July 12, 2011

So inspiring! I've never thought of combining lemon and anise, it sounds deliciously fragrant.
I’m thinking of adapting the recipe to make frozen yogurt or sherbet (just purchased an ice cream maker), and will definitely serve it with limoncello (got a nice bottle on our last trip to Italy). Thank you for sharing.

 

Heidi I can almost taste (or smell) the flavors from here! And I know this sounds weird, but I bet if I had a head cold or sinus issues or throat things going on, the fennel + lemon + honey + icy + maybe some vodka :) would make me feel tons better. Sort of like an anecdote for summer colds or sinus issues. Sorry that was so random and of course it would be great to enjoy...without a summer cold. haha! :)

 

Ruth
July 12, 2011

This looks delicious - and the combo of lemon, anise and vodka makes me want to try it this weekend!

 

This sounds so amazingly refreshing. I have fond memories of heading out on a hot summer's evening to get a lemon granita to cool me down, but this sounds even better.

 

Nancy
July 12, 2011

Hmm, I wonder if my blender is up to this. It's the kind of one that you have to shake manically to try to make a paste of something. but maybe! I have yoghurt in the fridge...and lemons are everywhere.. it looks pretty perfectly refreshing, delicious and low fat to be honest :D

 

Kathryn
July 13, 2011

It sounds like the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer's day and such a wonderful combination of flavours. Thank you Heidi.

 

Anne-Renee
July 13, 2011

I guess a shot of ouzo instead of vodka and aniseed would do the trick too :-)

HS: Great idea!

 

JL goes Vegan
July 13, 2011

I love this. The versatility of the recipe is reason enough to love it but as I always have lemon and lime on hand I'm constantly looking for ways to use them up before they turn. This will most certainly be a new favorite. I'm thinking of ways to turn into a great post-workout recovery treat, as well. Thank you!

 

Oh, this is so gorgeous Heidi! I love the ease and summer freshness of the citrus paired with the delicate liquorice fragrance of anise. Brilliant!

 

Jessica @ How Sweet
July 13, 2011

What a fabulous flavor combo. Gorgeous!

 

The Healthy Hipster
July 13, 2011

Looks Delicious! I've been making strawberry lemonade slushes every day to cool off. I think they're the treat of the summer! Can't wait to try this one.

 

Simply Life
July 13, 2011

Oh what a perfect, refreshing thing for summer!

 

la domestique
July 13, 2011

Two of my favorite flavors: lemon & anise! Sounds so good. Love the idea of a slush- so refreshing in the heat of summer.

 

Katrina
July 13, 2011

This sounds so refreshing! Yum!

 

i'm a little more than obsessed with all things lemon right now...this sounds like a perfect summer cooler!

 

Blog is the New Black
July 13, 2011

I love anything in slush form. These look wonderful!

 

Sarah
July 13, 2011

So beautiful, Heidi. I love anything with anise----it's one of those things that people profess to hate (along with fennel), because they think it's candy-black-licorice flavor. But if it's done right, it's such a delicate, grown-up taste. Gorgeous.

 

They look so refreshing. I would probably have to substitute thyme for the anise although I would probably give it a try first. Lovely recipe.

 

Bev Weidner
July 13, 2011

Incredible! I think I'd prefer to make about a 40 gallons of this, pour it in a tub and soak in it for an hour.

And then take a little spoon and begin digging my way out, through my mouth.

Okay I'm weird. Sorry.

 

Emma Galloway
July 13, 2011

I'm loving the Pilsner idea!

 

Miriam
July 13, 2011

Ooo, what a perfect treat for a hot summer day! I agree, there is something amazing about lemons, they can dress up so many different kinds of food :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

 

Christina
July 13, 2011

I've infused vodka with anise before and you don't need to let it steep very long to get a pronounced flavor. All day and then overnight with some crushed anise would probably be fine. I've let it steep for about 2 weeks and the flavor is SUPER intense.

HS: Thanks for the tip Christina.

 

L
July 13, 2011

:o) Thanks to the comments for putting me straight, I read anise and assumed it was star anise not fennel... If England's summer ever gets going I'm definately giving this a try!

 

Magda
July 13, 2011

I think infusing vodka with anise seeds is a great idea. You have to give it a try, I know I will.

 

Debra
July 13, 2011

This sounds lovely; I wonder if anise hysop leaves might also work?

 

Sounds tangy and refreshing. A perfect way to beat the summer heat.

 

I'm in! I love to add a little kombucha and fresh mint to my summer slushies. A little zing!

 

Epicurea
July 13, 2011

what an unexpected twist with the anise and wonderful use for leftover lemons (and vodka..) from making limoncello!

 

Roger Stowell
July 13, 2011

I very much like taste thought of anise and lemons. I use star anise with carrots, in a soup, which is fantastic and originates from Patricia Wells' "Provence Cookbook"

 

Ann
July 13, 2011

Yum, yum! I make limoncello....but this sounds GREAT! Wonderful pics and post...as usual!

 

callie
July 13, 2011

i'm a big fan of the anise and grapefruit combination... i bet this would be great with grapefruit juice as well! though you'd have to toy with the sugar/water amounts a bit...

 

Heidi @ Food Doodles
July 13, 2011

Yum! I don't think I've ever had lemon and anise together but it sounds awesome.

 

Anjali Shah
July 13, 2011

This looks so refreshing! And I love the idea of adding the anise seeds as a twist. This seems perfect for those (rare) hot summer days in SF :)

 

janice AMSTER
July 13, 2011

Heidi, I just wanted to let you know that I made your Black Pepper Tempeh with cauliflower last night from Everyday... It was soooo good!! I used tofu and it never tasted better!!!

 

The Healthy Apple
July 13, 2011

So refreshing and perfect for this hot summer day. Thanks Heidi!

 

Jan Crostonhodder
July 13, 2011

Sounds like you've invented Drambuie. Hurray for the Shandy and this recipe will be a great addition to our summer line up of refreshments.

 

theresa
July 13, 2011

as re: anise seeds infusing vodka - at the end of last summer, i infused gallons of vodka with various herbs and seeds from my garden. i found that the longer you had anise or coriander in the vodka, the weirder (and ultimately unpalatable) the vodka tasted. my suggestion would be to infuse it at the most over night. by the way, lemon verbena, while heavenly in many things, makes a terrible vodka if you leave it in the vodka for longer than a day. same with basil. i found that only berries and peppers can withstand a long (2 weeks - month) soak in the booze

 

Talya B
July 13, 2011

Yum! And then I'm going to take the emply lemon halves and put a piece of mozzarella in each one. Sprinkle with chilli flakes and any herbs you like (basil's good) and put on the barbecue until the cheese goes soft.

 

Tanvi
July 13, 2011

Wow! This looks incredible and super refreshing! To recall my organic chemistry knowledge from college, most spices are made up of aromatic compounds that create their flavor. Aromatics don't dissolve well in water but are highly alcohol and fat soluble!

 

Ashlae
July 13, 2011

I am so happy you posted this - I just so happen to have a bag of lemons lying around, and friends coming over in a few hours. This will be the perfect drink to serve on this hot, dry summer day.

 

Melissa
July 13, 2011

Wow, this sounds delicious. Never would have thought of the lemon and anise combination.

Now we just need some warm weather in Vancouver and I will give this a whirl in the blender.

 

Rupal in Brooklyn
July 13, 2011

Anise Hissup and Lemon Balm seem like they could be worked in somehow, maybe with a simple syrup (using muscavado sugar like your blackberry limeade). Thoughts?

 

Deb
July 13, 2011

I might have to break down and buy a blender...

 

Amanda
July 13, 2011

This is one of those recipes that elicits one immediate response: Oooooh!

 

Amanda
July 13, 2011

ps. I love love love those little champagne glasses!

 

Kristy
July 13, 2011

I make a 'spiced' lemonade with limoncello and my home-infused anise and ginger vodka. Served with a sprig of rosemary and a splash of club soda, it is my favorite summer cooler. I do believe, however, that this jewel will supplant that drink... or at least partner with it. Thanks, as always, for the beautiful photos and wonderful ideas!

 

I love Anise. Love it. Pairing it with Lemon in this recipe is awesome. It sounds great and perfect for the heatwave we are having here.

 

betsy
July 13, 2011

Heidi, I think yours is the first blog I ever encountered, a couple of years ago, and I wrote you a small fan letter then, in appreciation of your humility and good photos and food-right-up-my-alley. It's funny but in 2011, yours is still one of the few blogs that "bloink" into my inbox and don't send me scrambling for the delete button. I have gotten so tired of all those posts beginning "The Ten Things I have Learned about... (how to roll over a minute bit of content again and again, and make myself appear more important than I know I am!....") I still read your blog each time, and sometimes even print a recipe, or look at a film you have listed as a Fav. Thank you for favoring quality over quantity, and for being true to what I have come to recognize as your style!

 

ruthie@thetwicebitten
July 13, 2011


This looks like summer in a glass.


Welcome summer.


Cheers!

 

Sandra
July 13, 2011

I was just about to infuse vodka with anise, but we only have expensive vodka today, and Jim would kill me. I'm going to add a bit of Sambuca, or Ricard, and keep your recipe the same. I love the flavors you love.

 

Amy
July 13, 2011

This looks perfect for summer, Heidi. The slush looks so refreshing and a splash of limoncello makes it sound even better. I also love how you sliced and juiced your lemons-- such a simple difference but they look so pretty!

 

molly @ mollys menu
July 13, 2011

I love the first photo, with the glasses and empty lemon shells so well positioned! You mentioned limoncello, but with the anise I wonder if a swig of sambuca would also work?

 

Lexi
July 13, 2011

I learned from Patricia Wells that limes are easier to juice if you slice them length-wise, instead of along the equator (as it were). Somehow it's never occurred to me that juicing lemons could be made easier, too, but your photos have me thinking. Or is there a different reason for your cutting the lemons in half the long way?

 

claudia
July 13, 2011

Curious about the way you cut the lemons. Do you get more juice cutting them lengthwise instead of across the fat middle. Or?

 

Vanessa
July 13, 2011

This lemon-anise slush looks delicious. I shall make it! :) Thank you for sharing the recipe! :)

 

Paula
July 13, 2011

Heidi:
Do you always cut your lemons tip to tail instead of across the center? How come? They do look very photogenic that way!

I love Talya B.'s idea about placing cheese inside the split and spent lemons to grill until melted!

To be certain, anise and fennel seed are the same, correct?

Mahalo & Aloha (lucky me with a Meyer lemon tree in the back yard!)

 

you've now inspired me to make a slushie. you, and the fact that 711 just had free slurpie day on 7/11!

i just bought a juicer, so i'm leaning towards a cantaloupe-ginger slushie. BUT! I am definitely waiting and hoping it gets nice out; it's been a little dreary in NoPa lately :).

 

Shaz
July 13, 2011

This sounds gorgeous - I adore lemon drinks. But I'm confused (UK/US moment here, I suspect). Is anise the same as star anise? Looking online hasn't helped!

 

anna
July 13, 2011

instead of infusing vodka with anise, why don't you use pernod, ricard, or another pastis? anise is generally the dominant flavor (along with other aromatics and botanicals). if you want an anise-flavored liquor, pastis will provide a much better flavor than most diy efforts. i speak from experience!

 

Rocky Mountain Woman
July 13, 2011

I really need an ice cream maker!

I love the lemon/anise combo...

 

France
July 13, 2011

Sound really refreshing. Anise rarely gets enough play.

 

A shame. My husband doesn't like anise ... so I'll have to drink it all myself.

Alas.

 

lori
July 13, 2011

I like the way Amanda at Easy Peasy thinks....

 

Stephanie
July 13, 2011

Sounds (and looks) exceptionally refreshing. Makes me wish my little Meyer tree was mature enough to give out with the year-round fruit!

 

Rina
July 13, 2011

This makes my mouth water.
How about an anise flavored limoncello recipe? or just a limoncello recipe?

 

Johanna
July 13, 2011

Oh! I most certainly have to make this! Thanks for the fantastic idea :)

 

Now you've got me dreaming of one of these slushies on a warm summer day. It's winter where I am now though and I couldn't bear the thought of gripping a slushie with my already-frozen fingers (as perfect as this one sounds). Will put a tab on this for the warmer months though - it would be a perfect addition to a cocktail party.

 

molly
July 13, 2011

years ago, i made a fantastic fennel limeade, from Seattle chef Greg Atkinson. I imagine this would have a similar flavor; the licorice/citrus combination is indeed unexpected, and wonderful.

this looks like a marvelous way to cool down on a hot summer's day. we'll be trying this. thanks, heidi!

 

Marie
July 14, 2011

the thought of putting anise into a drink really never occurred to me, and in combination with lemon?! so I'm really glad I cam across this post, anise is one of my favourite flavours and this looks delicious!

 

What an unusual combination, I always had a love-hate relationship with aniseed flavoured drinks or foods but as I get older my tastes have changed... I might just have to give this a go. Lemons are indeed a staple in the kitchen... I could not live without them.

 

kitchenvoyage
July 14, 2011

Great recipie i really like the idea and will help to me to clear a few those anise seeds i have since christmas!

 

Lynn
July 14, 2011

Heidi! Your cookbook was fawned over by Beachbody! I probably am not the only one to let you know, but check it out. Great review! http://www.beachbody.com/product/p90x-online/newsletters/p90xnl_089.do?code=social_fbpn#fbpn

 

Vanessa
July 14, 2011

We made these last night (half water, half vodka) and immediately became obsessed. On the docket for Saturday-- a grapefruit juice, tequila, and habanero combination by the pool!

Thanks Heidi!

 

Heidi Leon Monges
July 14, 2011

I also make something very similar to this but with whole lemons (quartered) and sans anise seeds.

My father tought me the recipe and till this day is my favorite thirst quencher during hot summer days.

 

Julie
July 14, 2011

I make a similar drink, however, we infuse one cup of chopped mint leaves, steep for 3 hours, and then strain mixture into shaved ice. No anise seeds either. So refreshing!

 

Crazy Radishes
July 14, 2011

The combo of lemon and anise sounds inspired. I bet this would make an awesome granita!

 

Vandya
July 14, 2011

Heidi, the slush looks refreshing. Just perfect for summer time. Love the clicks as well.

 

blakely@ladylovefood
July 14, 2011

lemon and anise, two of my favorite flavors, sounds so refreshing. can't wait to try. thanks for the inspiration.

 

Natural Beauty
July 14, 2011

This looks incredible and so refreshing! Plus limoncello or anise liquor? Yes, please! Amazing work as always.

 

Cynthia
July 14, 2011

OK, I hope this isn't sacrilegious or anything, but I really wanted to make this and I didn't have any lemons or anise seeds, so I substituted. Big time. I used bottled lemon juice and anise extract. And um....it's good. I mean, REAL good. I followed the rest of your recipe to a T, only adding a bit more lemon juice and a bit less extract. I'm totally making another round tonight for dinner.

 

Melissa
July 14, 2011

Can't wait to make this. It looks so refreshing and summery! Thanks Heidi ;)

 

taghag
July 14, 2011

someone already suggested anise hyssop leaves, which i can attest are delicious and infuse well in vodka.

 

Julie
July 14, 2011

I am going to try every combination of this! Can't wait to get fresh lemons from my neighbor's tree this weekend.

 

Stephanie
July 14, 2011

Oh Wow! Lemon and anise sound like an interesting combo. Also a huge lemon fan here. Will have to try. Thanks!

 

Elena
July 15, 2011

Hi Heidi, this looks amazing! And it tastes even better! I have to admit that I'm becoming a huge fan of all your recipes.
You were mentioning your sister's limoncello... do you think that it would be possible for her to share the recipe?
Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!

 

twentyeight
July 15, 2011

i can't wait to try these! they are the perfect summer treat.. thanks for sharing, and as always, lovely photos!

 

Sandra
July 15, 2011

That looks soooo refreshing! :) Thanks for sharing the recipe!

 

Gina
July 15, 2011

I have a lemon tree in my backyard and this sounds like such an easy, refreshing, tasty way to use them all up (whether I choose water or Vodka!). Thank you!

 

Raluca
July 16, 2011

I think this recipe is ... or at least looks a lot like "caipirinha" a very strong Brazilian drink with lime and sugar and a lot of ice. Where your recipe originated?
Anyway, I tried your recipe and I used yogurt when I prepared it. and came out great!

 

a spoonful of yumm
July 16, 2011

so inspiring ! never thought of adding anise to any drinks. love this recipe :-)

 

Nikita
July 16, 2011

Ooh this looks so refreshing! I am going to have to pick up some anise... it's not a spice I use a lot but I'm intrigued by that flavor combination!

 

foodrinkery
July 17, 2011

Nice! You can never go wrong with lemons!

 

Foxpine
July 17, 2011

In Greece and Turkey, they make an alcoholic beverage using anise. You may want to experiment with that. I believe the Greek name is Ouzo and the Turkish name is Raki.

 

Jessica
July 17, 2011

I feel so silly for asking, but I really want to try this, and try it right so... Is this using anise seed or anise flowers? I went to my local herb store in LA (Spice Station) and I got anise seed, but then smelled anise flowers and thought I had made a mistake, so I got that.

Somebody mind clarifying this for me?

Thank you!

xo

 

marla rhodes
July 17, 2011

Jessica, it's anise seed.

HS: Thanks Marla!

 

marian
July 18, 2011

The essence of the anise seeds will definitely extract into the alcohol. We make liqueurs and one of ours features anise seeds steeped in alcohol. Fennel seeds extract also -- we make an orange fennel liqueur and I'm quite tempted to make your lemon slush substituting orange and fennel and our liqueur for the finishing touch.

 

Shakeology Discount
July 18, 2011

WOW! The Lemon Anise Slush Recipe look incredible! I love, love LOVE, lemons (and of course slushies) so I'm going to give this a go. Thanks!

 

michele
July 18, 2011

I like the lemon crusher thing..have not seen it in awhile.

 

michele
July 18, 2011

I like the lemon crusher thing..have not seen it in awhile.

 

Adelina
July 18, 2011

ooh la la!!! my kind of slushie for sure. Thanks for the recipe.

 

Rolinda
July 18, 2011

Hi Heidi...

Have you given any thought to releasing your "Cook 1.0" book as an e-book? With the success of your latest 2 books I think your devoted fans would greatly appreciate the opportunity to snag a copy of this one without having to hound the old book stores or pay an arm and a leg on E-Bay or the like. A re-issue in paperback or hardbound would be wonderful but if that is cost prohibitive I'd settle for a copy on my Kindle. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes and photos with us!! San Francisco is my favorite city and I really look forward to shots of familiar spots!!

 

Marci
July 19, 2011

Made this last night, no alcohol. On the hottest night of the year thus far, my husband and I both commented that we had the chills! Thanks for the refreshment - this is going into the archives.

 

Nancy
July 19, 2011

If you live in an area with an abundance of lemons and/or limes, I found you can place them in a Freezer Zip Loc bag and keep them in your freezer. I prefer the smaller bags so I am not letting air in every time I open the bag. I kept limes that way for almost a year.

 

brownsugarandbacon
July 20, 2011

okay, i have a bottle of homemade limoncello in my freezer, i am all over this!

 

Lorelei
July 21, 2011

That makes my mouth water! Once the weather heats up here I'm going to give it a try!

 

Joanna
July 21, 2011

Just tried this... it's delicious, refreshing and EASY. Thank you.

 

This looks heavenly, and I would happily slurp on this summer or winter. I think infusing the vodka with anise ahead of time is a great idea, which got me thinking that maybe using ouzo or pernod would be another alternative.
Sue

 

Stephanie
July 24, 2011

Yummy! Just made this- couldn't be easier, and it's a real treat. Exotic drink for friends looking to break out from the usual margarita.