Anijselk: The Dutch Alcohol-Free Night-Cap

Anijselk is an odd beverage served in Netherlands.  It is also really easy to make and has three ingredients.  At least, the recipe that I have is only three ingredients.  Here is how you make this drink.


  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of anise seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of honey


  • Put the seeds in a tea infuser or tea-ball
  • Bring the milk to a boil and then add the seeds in tea infuser
  • Let the two simmer over low heat for about eight minutes
  • Add the honey and mix until combined
  • Remove from heat and serve warm

That’s it.  That’s all you do to make it.  It is generally drank in the evenings before one goes to bed.  Anise has a calming effect and it also helps with cramps!  Yay!  The warm milk is what makes you feel sleepy.  Unlike traditional “night-cap” beverages, this one contains no alcohol.  As such, you can give it to kids and people that don’t drink alcoholic beverages!  The fact that it contains no alcohol isn’t the odd thing about this drink.  The thing that most people in the States would find odd is the flavour.  Anise is the stuff that is used to flavour licorice.  That means that this drink will taste sort of like black licorice.  I really don’t understand what people living in the States have against licorice.  It really isn’t that bad.  That being said, I like my licorice salty.  Yeah, odd, but tasty.  Apparently that is an acquired taste.  For this recipe you can control how strong the flavour is by leaving the seeds in for shorter or longer lengths of time.  You can make it stronger by adding the seeds before it the milk starts to boil and you can make it weaker by only leaving it in for a minute or two.  You can also add more or less honey or use sugar instead.