I like the flavor of anise. Fennel, Thai basil , star anise (and more) adds that flavor. I started out making this with a garnish of Thai basil, but I can’t always (or am too lazy to find it), so I started adding fennel bulbs, but I don’t always have that either, so I adding a star anise pod and it works too. Somtimes I grind the star anise, sometimes I don’t. It’s a versatile recipe with plenty of wiggle room. Add or omit what you like or don’t like.