Sambuca inevitably will often bring up images of shots at the end of the night, but this classic Italian spirit is something that deserves to be savoured more slowly. Harking back to the 1800s, this flavoursome and robust drink is a combination of neutral base alcohol along with essential oils taken from sweet aniseed.
Extra flavourings such as elderberry and a sugar solution are added to sweeten the final spirit.
While most Sambucas are clear, the addition of botanicals such as liquorice root and bark from the witch elder bush gives the spirit a dark hue, meaning it is often referred to as black Sambuca. These types taste particularly botanical and have been said to have medicinal qualities (meaning you really can drink to your health!)
Sambuca can be enjoyed in many ways, including being swallowed straight up at the end of a meal or even added to your coffee in place of sugar. But to drink it traditionally, why not try it as a shot topped with three coffee beans- to symbolise ‘health, happiness and prosperity’. For added drama give your shots a quick flame just before drinking to give the coffee beans a light toasting!