Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary.

Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary. EZdrinking is a drinks blog by Eric Zandona that focuses on distilled spirits, wine, craft beer and specialty coffee. Here you can find reviews of drinks, drink books, articles about current & historical trends, as well as how to make liqueurs, bitters, and other spirit based drinks at home.

Filtering by Tag: Anise

Review: Santo Cuviso Bacanora Anis


  • Owned by: Casa TresAmigos

  • Distilled by: Manuel “El Toro” Chacón in Bacanora, Sonora

  • Agave: Angustifolia

  • Cooking: Horno (earthen pit oven)

  • Crush: Mechanical Mill

  • Fermentation: Natural fermentation

  • Still Type: Copper Pot

  • Flavored: Whole Star Anise Pods

  • Spirit Type: Flavored Bacanora

  • Strength: 40%

  • Price: $90+/-

The agave spirit known as bacanora is named after the town of Bacanora in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. Like many other spirits indigenous to Mexico, bacanora went though a period of prohibition. But, even after prohibition ended, bacanora was almost exclusively consumed locally. However in 2000, the Mexican government gave bacanora its own denomination of origin to protect its production as they did with tequila and mezcal.

Santo Cuviso is made in the town of Bacanora by maestro Manuel “El Toro” Chacón, a third generation bacanoro. El Toro, harvest mature cultivated agave angustifolia, also know as espadin in Oaxaca, and cooks them in a conical earthen pit oven. Once the agaves are cooked, they are milled and ferment naturally by wild yeast for up to 12 days. After fermentation, the must is double distilled in copper pot stills. Post-distillation, some of the blanco bacanora is mixed with a concentrated infusion of star anise and then it is allowed to rest in 5 liter glass jugs between 10 and 14 days. This rest period allows the spirit to settle which is a well know practice for making spirits more refined. After the rest period the spirit is bottled at 40% ABV.

In April 2019, Santo Cuvios Bacanora Anis earned a Double Gold medal and named Best Flavored Bacanora from the American Distilling Institute’s Judging of Craft Spirits.


Nose: Like with the other Santo Cuvios bacanoras, the aroma on the anis is really fantastic, full of earth and fruit, layered with notes of smoke and aromatic aromas of anise and fresh fennel. The aroma is light and herbaceous without the overpowering black licorice smell that can be off putting to some drinkers.

Palate: On the palate the body is rich and luscious, with an elegant medicinal character pairs really well with the underlying agave flavor.

Finish: The finish is long with a strong earthiness and light notes of anise that linger on the tongue.

Conclusion: Santo Cuviso Anis is a fantastic spirit that is delicious and shines in a number of settings. The herbaceous character of the anis lends itself to being an excellent digestive after a large meal. It also shows well in a hot toddy as the weather starts to turn cold. The anis can also be used as a absinthe substitute in a Sazerac or an number of classic cocktails adding a slight smoky character. The nice thing about this spirit is that it has enough agave character to please fans of bacanora and artisanal mezcal, but at the same time, drinkers unfamiliar with those spirits will find this very approachable and enjoy its beauty.

Santo Cuviso Bacanora Anis Review | Tequila Aficionado Sipping off the Cuff

DIY Spirit Aroma Kit: The First Batch

Supplies for the aroma kit.

A little while ago I went to Rainbow Grocery which is a local CoOp to pick up some herbs and spices for my Spirit Aroma Kit. I took the 2oz amber glass bottles and filled each one about two-thirds full. I have been editing a book about gin so some of the herbs I picked were inspired by common gin botanicals. I bought Angelica Root, Anise Seed, Ceylon Cinnamon, Cilantro, Green Cardamom, Juniper Berry, Lavender Flower, Lemon Grass, Licorice Root, Orris Root, Star Anise, Vietnamese Cinnamon, and Whole Black Peppercorns. The total cost for the thirteen herbs and spices was less than $10 which is a positive sign that my kit will be significantly less than the commercial kit.

Next I got my herbs together, pulled out my bottle of vodka, a small funnel and some small white labels. For each bottle I measured out 2oz of vodka and using the funnel, poured it into the bottles up to the neck. On the label I wrote the name of the herb or spice, the date, weight of the contents and volume of vodka. After I applied each label I gave the bottles a shake to make sure the vodka saturated all of the contents. Once each bottle was labeled and shaken I placed them in one of my kitchen cabinets to steep.

First batch of aroma bottles

Based on what I've read about tinctures this steeping process can take up to six to eight weeks to reach its full potency. In the mean time I am going to get more herbs as well as some grains from the my local homebrew store, San Francisco Brew Craft and fill some more bottles.