Fennel, though often mistaken for anise due to itÌ¥s flavor, is not anise. It does contain anethole, which lends star anise its specific flavor. But itÌ¥s botanically different. The bulbs contain smaller amounts of the aromatic and are often eaten as a vegetable. In gin we often see the fennel seeds being used for their slight anise like flavor. ItÌ¥s milder and slightly more vegetal, though often without being told, gin drinkers might think of it the flavor note as anise. In Indian culture, the seeds are often eaten after a meal as a breath freshener, or used as part of a blend of ingredients to create a licorice powder [perhaps leading to another common confusion point].Common in absinthe, Fennel has become more common, especially in contemporary style gins that emphasize an herbal profile.