Last Updated on March 1, 2023
If you're looking for a new and exciting flavoring oil, we have got just the one for you! We'll look at where to buy anise oil and exactly how to use it!
What Is Anise Oil?
Anise oil is rapidly increasing in popularity in the baking community. And for a good reason! This delicious oil is extracted from a dried spice called anise. This common spice comes from the Umbelliferae plant family. It is used in cuisines across the world and is quite potent.
Its flavor very closely resembles that of licorice. It has a slightly sweet profile with hints of spiciness that is similar to what pepper gives off.
Anise vs aniseed vs star anise
Now, many people confuse these terms. Anise and aniseed are the same ingredients, they just go by different names depending on where in the world you are.
However, anise (aniseed) is completely different than star anise. Despite them having very similar flavor profiles, they still have different flavors and even come from completely different families!
Star anise is a type of dry spice that comes from the Schisandraceae family. Anise is a type of dried herb that is used like a spice is.
What's the difference between pure oil and extract?
Now that we have covered what the differences are between anise and star anise, let's look at exactly what anise oil is.
Anise oil is categorized as an essential oil. What this means is that the oil extracted from the plant contains a ton of flavor (aka essence) and aromas. These oils also basically contain a concentrated form of the plants' nutrients.
Furthermore, these flavoring oils are made by extracting oils directly from the plants. They have an incredibly potent and pure flavor. They aren't always processed or diluted, making them the best and most authentic form of the flavor.
Now, an extract is made by infusing an alcohol base directly with the plant. This also gives a pretty strong pure flavor. Some extracts are made using pure anise oil, but not always. Their flavor isn't as strong as compared to flavoring oils.
If you are intrigued by this tasty oil, let's have a look at a buyer's guide so you choose the best product and where to buy anise oil that will meet your needs.
Buy a food-safe product
So, many people don't realize that not all oils are safe for human consumption. Some have been processed in such a way that makes them safe for consumption. Others have been processed into a massage oil. And, you even get some that are solely meant to be burnt.
So, always check the product description before just using it in your food. The product will always indicate whether or not it is safe to consume. If you cannot find anything on the labeling, then rather look at a different product.
Type of anise oil
One thing we haven't mentioned is that you get two forms of anise oil - pure anise oil and anise-flavored oil.
When using pure oil you only need a drop or two. The flavor is incredibly concentrated and acts the same as vanilla extract.
A flavored oil is infused with anise seeds. This ingredient is used to add moisture to your product along with a bit of flavor. Naturally, it is used in a much larger quantity. You can also easily make anise-flavored oil at home.
Buy an oil
If you are looking for a pure oil, make sure that the product is a pure oil. As we have mentioned, you get a lot of products that have been diluted with vegetable oil or alcohol (sometimes even water). Now, these products aren't necessarily bad, but they aren't oil.
You can check the ingredients list to make sure that the product is either a pure oil or diluted with oil.
Quality and price
And finally, you have to make sure the anise oil meets your needs. If you need a simple cheap oil, don't go looking at organic products, etc.
For these oils, you don't have to spend a fortune to get a quality product!
Where to buy anise oil for food uses?
You can find food-safe anise oil (pure or flavored) in many places. You will easily be able to find it at your local baking supply shop or even a pharmacy.
Pharmacies (or drug stores) have begun stocking up on these essential oils because of the many natural health benefits they offer. In the last couple of years, Western medicine has started accepting Eastern practices, including the use of these oils.
And of course, you will also be able to find this product online at various retailers.
Best Anise Oils For Baking
1. LorAnn oils anise oil
This brand is extremely well-known for their high-quality essential oils that are also safe to consume. This specific anise oil bottle contains a 1-fluid ounce of liquid, but you can also buy them in larger quantities.
You only need to use about ¼ to ½ a teaspoon for every pound the recipe weighs. It has an extremely pure and potent flavor that is perfect for warm winter bakes like cookies, or refreshing summer ice creams.
2. Olive Nation pure anise oil
This is a 100% pure anise oil which means you will get the purest form of the flavor. And, you can even buy small test bottles before committing to a bulk pack! They range from one 4 ounces bottle to 1-gallon packages!
This oil is perfect for making candies and chocolate coating. It is very stable and won't break any emulsions formed like many other extracts and oils do.
3. SenseLAB anise essential oil
Last but not least, we have this A-grade essential oil from SenseLAB. It has an incredibly rich and prominent flavor that is perfect for any cooking purpose.
Again, you only need a few drops of this product which will make a massive difference. And, you can also use it for aromatherapy, to make lotions, or to burn in a diffuser.
Now that you know where to buy anise oil, make sure to get your hand on some and start experimenting! We guarantee you won't regret it!
Why is anise oil in pharmacy?
You can easily find anise oil in pharmacies because of the many health benefits that these oils can give people. Lately, Western medicine has started to embrace the benefits that natural ingredients (and oils) can provide, which before was only used in Eastern medicine.
Is there a difference between anise oil and anise extract?
Anise oil is directly extracted from the anise plant and is the purest form of flavor, aroma, and nutrients you will find. You only need to use a drop or two of this oil in most recipes. Anise extract on the other hand is basically the plant that has been infused into an alcohol base. While the flavor is still prominent, it has still been diluted.
Where can I buy anise oil for baking?
You can find anise oil that is safe for cooking and baking at pharmacies, local baking stores, health shops, and online. just make sure the product specifically states it is safe to use for food or internal consumption.
What can you substitute for anise oil?
You can substitute anise oil with star anise oil or extract. otherwise, you can also use cardamom oil or extract. It has similar licorice flavors, but less strong and more sweet and herbal. You can then also use licorice extracts, made from licorice-infused alcohol.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.