How to drink Sambuca
How to Drink Sambuca
Sambuca is an Italian anise-flavored liqueur that is usually colorless, but can sometimes be deep blue (referred to as black sambuca) or bright red in color. The common, colorless variety is referred to as “white sambuca.” Sambuca is a digestif, meaning it’s traditionally served at the end of a meal to aid in the digestive process. However, this is not the only way to enjoy sambuca. In fact, the liqueur can be combined with a variety of spirits and other ingredients to create delicious cocktails.
Making Cocktails with Sambuca and Other Spirits
Mix sambuca, whiskey, and bitters to make a Sambuca Sazerac.Pour ice into a mixing glass and add 2 fluid ounces (59 mL) of overproof bourbon whiskey and 1 fluid ounce (30 mL) of sambuca. Then add 4 dashes of bitters and stir the ingredients together. Finally, use a strainer to strain the cocktail into a small rocks glass with ice.
- Add 2 twists of lemon peel to the top of the drink for a zesty garnish.
- You can use other forms of whiskey besides bourbon for this drink, though you should make sure that the drink you use has a relatively high proof so that its flavor isn’t totally masked by that of the sambuca.
Use cinnamon liqueur, sambuca, and vodka to make a spicy cocktail.Fill a mixing glass with ice and pour 0.75 fluid ounces (22 mL) of cinnamon liqueur, 1 fluid ounce (30 mL) of vodka, and 0.5 fluid ounces (15 mL) of sambuca into the glass. Stir the ingredients together and then use a strainer to strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass.
- This drink is sometimes referred to as a “10 Below cocktail.”
- You can garnish this drink with a preserved, sweetened cherry, such as a maraschino cherry.
Add sparkling wine to sambuca, lemon juice, and simple syrup.Place ice inside a cocktail shaker and add 1 fluid ounce (30 mL) of sambuca, 0.5 fluid ounces (15 mL) of lemon juice, and 0.25 fluid ounces (7.4 mL) of simple syrup. Shake the ingredients together and then use a strainer to strain them into a champagne flute. Finally, add a long, skinny lemon peel to the cocktail and then top the whole thing off with 4 fluid ounces (120 mL) of sparkling wine.
- Make sure you add the lemon peel before you add the sparkling wine, as pouring in the wine without the lemon peel already in the cocktail will cause it to bubble up too fast.
- You can also add a brandied cherry to the drink as a final garnish.
- You may see this drink referred to as a “Sambuca 75,” as it’s a variation of an established cocktail known as the “French 75.”
Start a meal with a drink made from sambuca, gin, and orange bitters.Simply pour 2 fluid ounces (59 mL) of gin, 1.5 fluid ounces (44 mL) of sambuca, and 3-5 dashes of orange bitters into a mixing glass with ice. Stir the ingredients together, then use a strainer to strain them into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Sambuca is typically drunk at the end of a meal. However, this aperitivo cocktail is best served just before a meal to stimulate the appetite.
Make a Sambuca Summer out of sambuca, tequila, lime juice, and agave syrup.Put ice in a cocktail shaker and add 0.75 fluid ounces (22 mL) of sambuca, 2 fluid ounces (59 mL) of tequila, 1 fluid ounce (30 mL) of lime juice, and 0.25 fluid ounces (7.4 mL) of agave syrup. Shake the ingredients together, then use a strainer to strain them into a tall glass filled with ice. Finally, add 0.5 fluid ounces (15 mL) of soda water to complete the cocktail.
- For an added fruity flavor, you can also add 2 dashes of orange bitters to the cocktail shaker before you shake the ingredients together.
- Use lime wedges to garnish the drink when you serve it.
Mixing Sambuca with Non-Alcoholic Ingredients
Try a simple flaming shot with sambuca and coffee beans.Put 3 coffee beans in the bottom of a shot glass and pour 1.5 fluid ounces (44 mL) of sambuca over them. Use a long-reach lighter to light the sambuca on fire, then wait until the flame is low and blue and cover the shot glass with your hand to extinguish it. When the fire is extinguished, take the shot.
- Be very careful when lighting the sambuca. Make sure you are completely sober and use a long-reach lighter for maximum safety.
- In some parts of Italy, this drink is known as Sambuca, ghiaccio e mosche, meaning “Sambuca, ice and flies.”
Cool off with a cocktail made from sambuca and pomegranate juice.Pour 1.75 fluid ounces (52 mL) of pomegranate sambuca and 3 fluid ounces (89 mL) of pomegranate juice into a cocktail shaker and shake them together with ice. Then, fill a Collins glass with ice and use a strainer to strain the sambuca and juice into the glass. Fill the glass the rest of the way with club soda and enjoy.
- This drink is sometimes called a "Breezer Cocktail."
- Use lemon slices to garnish this drink.
- For a less fruity flavor, you can also use white sambuca instead of pomegranate sambuca.
Mix black sambuca and lemonade for a sweet Dark Night cocktail.Pour 1.75 fluid ounces (52 mL) of black sambuca into a highball glass filled with ice. Then, fill the remainder of the glass with lemonade and serve.
- This drink is best garnished with a lemon slice.
- Some recipes call for Luxardo Sambuca Passione Nera to be used in this cocktail, although any black sambuca will do.
Combine apple sambuca and ginger ale for a flavorful and fruity cocktail.Fill a highball glass with ice and pour 2 fluid ounces (59 mL) of spiced apple sambuca into the glass. Then, pour ginger ale into the glass until it’s filled. Serve the drink with a lime wedge as a garnish.
- Part of this drink’s appeal is its characteristic green color. Consider using Luxardo Spiced Apple sambuca to guarantee your drink has a pleasing hue.
- You may see this drink referred to as a Ginger Spice cocktail.
Make a Minx cocktail out of sambuca, cranberry juice, and lemonade.Take a highball glass and fill it with ice. Then, pour 2 fluid ounces (59 mL) of cranberry sambuca, 3 fluid ounces (89 mL) of cranberry juice, and 3 fluid ounces (89 mL) of lemonade into the glass. Gently stir the ingredients together for a few seconds and serve.
Video: How to Make a Flaming Sambuca Shot
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