Have a Drink: Sambuca


Sambuca is an Italian liquor with a Greek name

Sambuca shots | Relampago’s Rating: Star16Star16Star16Star16Star16

Ever had a flaming shot of Sambuca? I hadn’t until I came to the Dominican Republic. There is a large and thriving community of Italian expats here, so naturally beyond awesome and authentic Italian food one also gets other side benefits of Italian culture without actually being in Italy.

Here’s a short history on the liquor:

The Greek word Sambuca was first used as the name of another elderberry liquor that was created in Civitavecchia about 130 years ago. The first commercial version of such a drink started at the end of 1800 in Civitavecchia, where Luigi Manzi sold Sambuca Manzi. In 1945, soon after the end of Second World War, commendatore Angelo Molinari started producing Sambuca Extra Molinari, which helped popularise Sambuca throughout Italy.

In some discotecas, restaurants, and bars, especially those with Italian owners or bartenders, Sambuca is a staple down here in the Caribbean. It is a shot that’s usually served on fire, with a nice blue flame lighting it up before you get lit.

In one particular discoteca I frequent, the Hungarian owner actually puts on a nice show by lighting the liquor on fire then pouring it from glass to glass before you take the shot. It’s a tasty and smooth liquor that reminds me of the taste of licorice.

If you can find a bottle, check it out this weekend. Cheers!

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