With warm, rounded flavors like maple syrup and sarsaparilla, this gin cocktail is comforting and deeply flavored, rather than light and aromatic.
Combine gin, maple syrup, lime juice, and bitters in a pitcher. Add 4 cups ice, and stir until ice is melted. Serve in rocks glasses over fresh ice; garnish with star anise.
Batched drink may be made one day ahead; keep chilled until ready to serve.