My dad loves fennel and anise. He's been making this awesome drink lately. We found a bag of Jamaican dried hibiscus flowers and a bag of star anise. You can find those in the "weird foods" stores, like International Farm Markets.
All you need for this tasty and exotic summer drink is:
1-2 star anise
2-3 cups of water
Boil it all together for a few minutes. The water will start turning a lovely purple color. I like the drink chilled with some sugar - de(wait for it)- licious.
The cool thing about anise is that not only it looks like an alien plant - it makes virtually any herbal tea taste better. I have not tried it with other foods yet, but you bet I'll be researching this further.