Anise Hyssop Syrup and The Strawberry Stunner

by autumn on June 25, 2012

Since my CSA started, I’ve had to really restrain myself in the face of the gorgeous whorls of kale and the rainbow of radishes at the greenmarket. It’s safe to say that at any given time, I don’t need more vegetables. This just means I’ve been giving myself permission to explore the non-necessities a little more. This is how I came to be in love with anise hyssop. (That’s it above, with those pretty little purple flowers.)

As the name implies, its flavor is anise-y, which I realize may send you running in the other direction. I’ve always been a weirdo that liked black licorice better than red, but I have to say that the flavor of anise hyssop is definitely smoother and lacks the bite and bitterness that I think turns some people off from black licorice. Like I did with lovage, I took the flavor on a test drive in the form of simple syrup and it quickly became a new favorite. When I made this syrup, I still had strawberries in my fridge. Punk Domestics confirmed my suspicions that strawberries go swimmingly with anise hyssop and I was in need of a summery cocktail. Meet the Strawberry Stunner: sweet, totally gorgeous, and a little more complex than you expected.

Strawberry Stunner Cocktail

Yield: 1 cocktail


  • 1/2 oz anise hyssop syrup
  • 3 oz lillet
  • 1 oz vodka (I used tito's)
  • 2 ripe strawberries, washed and stems removed

Cooking Directions

  1. Place ice and all ingredients except the strawberries into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Place a fine mesh strainer (I have a little one that works great for this) over the cocktail shaker and press the strawberries through it with the back of a spoon to "juice" them into the shaker.
  3. Shake until nice and cold and strain into a coupe glass.

Anise Hyssop Syrup


  • 20 leaves (1 handful) anise hyssop
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in small saucepan over high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain and refrigerate.

(Psst… Yossy, pic #3 is for you!)


Autumn Giles is the creator of Autumn Makes & Does and the co-host of the Alphabet Soup Podcast.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 la domestique June 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I’ve never tried anise hyssop, but I’m going to keep my eyes open for it now. The cocktail looks irresistible!


2 val June 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I’ve got a different variety of Agastache in my garden, with less of a licorice flavor–but just as delectable as the anise hyssop (though now that I think of it, a fennel syrup would be fantastic, too…). I’ve been pondering what to do with it, other than sprinkling the leaves over a dessert or salad, and this sounds perfect!


3 autumn June 26, 2012 at 10:37 am

Hi Val, Thanks! My go to use for extra herbs (although not the healthiest option necessarily…) is making simple syrup.
Jess, It’s totally worth keeping your eyes peeled for! You could definitely try the cocktail w/ honey or agave in place of the simple syrup until you track some down 🙂


4 yossy | apt2bbakingco June 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Yay, I love that shot and the cocktail looks gorgeous too (that color is intense)! I’ve never experimented with anise hyssop, but I am now totally inspired to give it a try.


5 autumn June 26, 2012 at 10:25 am

Thanks Yossy, I hadn’t either! Keith’s farm, the people w/ the famous garlic at union square greenmarket on Saturdays usually have it!


6 teawithhazel July 1, 2012 at 12:40 am

i haven’t heard of anise hyssop before but i love the idea of making syrups with herbs and adding them to a delicious summery beverage like you have..


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