Anisettes in Andalusia are found in some wine producing areas such as Cazalla and Rute, others in mining areas in the province of Huelva and in the past, aslo in the iron and steel industry area around Ojén. This relation with mining and iron and steel industry is due to the belief that eau-de-vie was beneficial to the respiratory system.
The first blast furnace in Spain was installed in Ojén in the province of Malaga, but at the present neither the furnace exists, nor is anisette produced here, though the name may appear on some labels. Some anisette is produced in the Contraviesa range and the Alpujarra of Almeria for local consumption.
The initial stop in a tour of anisettes in Andalusia should be Rute in the province of Cordova, which will immediately evoke thoughts of "matalaúba". Anisettes were already being produced here in mid 17th century. Nearby we come upon Montilla, where distilled liqueurs and eaux-de-vie are produced. The anisettes of this area are very aromatic and smooth, in spite of their high alcoholic content.
Cazalla and Constantina in the province of Seville, are in the centre of wine producing area, reconverted to alcohol production. The eau-de-vie is known generally as "cazalla", well known as a hard and sotrong anisette. At one time there were over 50 distilleries and nowadays, different types of anisettes are produced dry, medium and sweet, as well as the range of liquors and creams of coffe, mint, orange, etc.
In the province of Huelva, the Andévalo area is another where anisettes are made in Andalusia, specially in Zalamea la Real and Alosno, where it is closely related to the mines. This eau-de-vie, very strong and dry, is known as "aguardiente de hierro" (iron eau-de-vie).