Huge French wine and spirits multinational, second only to the US multinational Diageo. The picture shows the head office in Paris. The origin of the company lies in the well-known aniseed spirit. The basis for it is the fruit of the Badian tree, known as star anise, which is native to the border region between China and Vietnam. The essential oil (anethole) distilled from the fruit is used to make Pernod. One kilogram of anethole is extracted from about 100 kg of the fruit. Anethole is then mixed with a variety of herbs, such as fennel, coriander and mint, and distilled again to achieve absolute purity. The finished essence is then mixed with sugar, water and triple-distilled alcohol. In France, spirits distilled from different raw materials and then flavoured with aniseed are called "anisée". Spirits produced from the basic ingredient aniseed are called pastis. These are Pastis 51 (produced since 1951) and Ricard.