Used in many Chinese dishes, star anise imparts a sweet, rich licorice-like flavor into dishes. It is a key ingredient in Chinese Five Spice powder and is also used in making pho, a Vietnamese soup.
Try throwing a few pods in apple cider or even your next beer (try it with stouts or wits), or grind and add to gingerbread. Star anise is also great in a simple syrup for fall- and winter-time cocktails (especially when combined with other warming spices like cinnamon and cloves)
Star Anise and Apple Tea
Peel 4 to 5 apples (preferably unwaxed)
4 to 5 Star Anise pods
1 quart of water
Add apple peels, star anise pods, and water to a pot and boil for 15 – 20 minutes. Strain peels and pods and sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener. Serve hot or chilled.