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    14 Reviews
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      16.04.2011 14:17
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      A fantastic brand that have been offering luxury sambuca for years

      I have enjoyed Sambuca for a few years now, and by enjoyed I mean been quite drunk already to not notice just how much it hits the back of my throat with force! I do continue to buy it out though, generally because of the sweet taste, and despite the fact it can feel like a fire in the back of my mouth, it's a great tasting shot drink.

      The product --> The drink comes in a clear glass bottle, with a red screw lid. It has the brand Luxardo around the top, and also on the middle of the bottle. It is a clear liquid, which is smooth.

      I most often buy this at the bar for anything from £1.50 - £3.50 a shot, it completely depends on the bar prices.

      It is a very distinctive taste, as it contains star anise, which is known as an aniseed flavour. It also is mixed with a fair lot of sugar, and also contains elderberries. As I drink it I feel like it is a rather spicy and hot drink, by this I mean as it hits the throat. Containing all that sugar, it tastes very very sweet, and as it is 38% alcohol, very strong too. It is best served cold, ice cold, in a 25ml shot glass. I could not drink this drink on its own as a long drink!

      There are many cocktails and shooters that can be made from this drink, and I would recommend to experiment mixing it with other flavours, if you are buying a large bottle.

      Luxardo are the best selling brand of Sambuca, and it originates from Italy. There is more than one flavour of this type of drink, including raspberry (which I have recently found is becoming more popular in clubs), also pomegranate, nero, spiced apple, cranberry and cream liqueur (which is 18%). The later ones I haven't seen in supermarkets, but know they can be imported in and brought off the internet.

      The cost --> It is high quality, and it isn't hard to see why it is the most popular one to purchase. It is expensive, but because it is used more for shots or shooters, a whole bottle will take a while to consume! Unless drinking with plenty of others.

      In Tesco for a 70Cl bottle this costs £17.79, so I would only recommend if splitting with a few people.

      However, fantastic quality, great drink - there is nothing like it!

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      13.03.2011 22:14
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      It's expensive than cheap sambuca for a reason!

      Many of us have come across Sambuca shots in the pub at a club and it's not everyones cup of tea. Anyway the brand of sambuca often sold is Luxardo who are well known to anyone who's worked behind a bar or sits the other side and browses the bottles on the wall. Initially I disliked sambuca quite a bit because on my 19th birthday my friend bought me five shots, put them in a pint glass and made me down it! Over the past year at least I've grown fond of sambuca in general and have bought a few bottles, be they Luxardo's brand or not, but I've always preferred this brand.

      Typically it's sold in a 750ml bottle and has a strength of 38%. Clear in colour, and typical of all sumbucas has a strong smell aroma but smells really nice! It's taste is something you're either going to like or absolutely hate. The taste is typical of anything strong really, you do feel it but it has a soothing aftertaste in your throat which is actually quite nice, though most people will interpret this as a burning sensation! Concentrate on the taste and it's really nice. I've sampled many varieties of sambuca and Luxardo definitely make the best!

      A 700ml bottle will cost you around £16-£18 typically, though at Tesco's it's only £15.49 which works out at 55p a shot! Though if you're looking to buy it in shot form at a pub or club it'll usually set you back between £2 and £3.

      One downside to sambuca in general is it doesn't really mix with much because it's such a thick liquid. I've only ever drank sambuca straight in shot form and I intend on sticking to that. I can imagine a curdling sensation if I were to mix it with another liquid though this doesn't actually happen! On the other hand though it's included in several international cocktails.

      I would definitely recommend this to any lovers of alcohol and often get bought and buy shots of it when I'm out. It brings everyone together at the bar which is always nice! This is definitely the best brand of sambuca. Luxardo also do several other varieties including raspberry which is my favourite!

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      27.01.2011 16:52

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      Perfect for a night out!

      I'm afraid this review will, for many people, seem a rather shallow one, as I, like many students out there, will forever remember sambuca as either the shot to have at two in the morning when you've had enough beer and you want to start hugging people, or at the start of an evening when you want to liven up a rather dull party/night out. For me, its the perfect shot - its better than the other favoured shot option tequila because I find you have to be in the right mood for the latter - sometimes it goes down well, other times it doesnt, and its better than those other ridiculous drinks that have recently come out such as Corkys, which basically I find tastes quite nice but don't really do very much!

      There is of course one proviso to Sambuca, you have to like aniseed! If you don't you'll find sambuca pretty hard to keep down, or, given its fairly pungent aroma, even hard to go near! I however like aniseed, and am also impartial to the other aniseed based drink Pernod, so Sambuca's perfect for me. Of course another alternative that has become more common is black sambuca, but I find that quite heavy and still prefer the cleaner, fresher taste of ordinary sambuca...

      I know this review probably doesn't reflect Sambuca's rich arabian traditions but I hope its realistic in the eyes of many!

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      24.05.2009 00:16
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      One of my favourite after study tipples, or before study for that matter

      Ever since the first year of university, now a distant but nevertheless heart-warming memory, Luxardo Sambuca has always been an alcoholic staple for me, and a great way to get yourself very drunk very fast.

      Sambuca is a colourless, and slightly sticky, Italian after-dinner liquor, which you often see being ignited at bars to the amused hollering of the fatally intoxicated. However, as showy as this display is, all it does is burn off some of the valuable alcohol, so I like my sambuca to be plain and preferably not on fire. The first thing you should know about Luxardo sambuca is that it is delicious, but strong. Although the aniseed flavour of the shot can easily mask the mild burn of the alcohol, which you can feel pouring into your stomach like hot treacle, sambuca is still 40% alcohol. In my limited time at university I saw no end of people chugging these things back like they were cough syrup, only to spend the next several hours searching for the ever-illusive Huey Gruel.

      Me and my flatmates find sambuca to be an enjoyable and highly palatable drink, especially in comparison to vodka and tequila, which always leaves you with a warm alcohol-induced glow after every shot. Although the price varies throughout the country I often pay an average of £1 per shot, and £12-13 for a full 700cl bottle, which for a spirit is very reasonable. Although white sambuca is the most common variety it does come in a range of different colours and flavours, which admittedly I have never been adventurous enough to try. The strangest shot I ever had was in Warsaw, which was generous measure of generously powerful sambuca, with a load of coffee beans in it. That was...interesting.

      Sambuca will always be a favourite of mine, although like Marmite you either hate it or you love it. Of course, it does have its downside. It's called a hangover.

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      08.05.2009 16:30
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      Try it out and get yor money's worth from the fumes

      I think sambuca's name has been tarnished by its rise in popularity as a shot drink which you just down in order to get drunk. I think of sambuca as much more than this- it is strong at around 40% but I (not all will find this but probably most) that it is nice tasting with its liquorice/aniseed taste. I therefore drink it quite casually at home, often in a larger glass, with about three shots worth. Rather than downing, I prefer to just sip it, drinking it over a period of time.

      The best thing about drinking sambuca I think is that just to top it off, when you have finished it, its fumes still lingering in the glass and you can breathe these in- they are still alcoholic and sort of taste nice.

      As for Luxardo sambuca, I do feel it is a bit common, and sambuca from a little Italian deli feels better for some reason. However Luxardo sambuca still tastes very good and deserves five stars as a quality drink.

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        30.03.2009 21:37
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        Want a good night? Drink sambuca :D

        Last night was my 18th birthday and therefore I thought i would drink as many alcoholic beverages as possible so now i have many to rate and review. One of the drinks which seemed to keep popping up was the Luxardo Sambuca.

        It has to be said, it has a very unique and distinctive taste which will turn anyones face as it burns your throat on its way down. It tastes very much like licorace and although it is very strong at around 18% it still tastes much better then vodka.

        I never tried this drink mixed with something other then baileys and Tabasco sauce so am unable to say what it is like with other mixers such a coke.

        One thing I can say for this product is it will certainly get the party started as it is ideal to use when playing drinking games or just generally doing shots.

        I will warn you though, when waking up and thinking about Sambuca it may bring back regrets of what you done last night and will not taste quite so good coming back up :D

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          01.01.2009 16:30
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          A nice drink for a night out

          I'd never had sambuca before until last night. New Years Eve and everyone decided we should get completely hammered. I was really wary because I thought the smell was disgusting and I didn't really want to drink it, but eventually I got handed a bottle whilst I was dancing around and just drank some without really looking at what it was.

          It was like heaven in a bottle!
          The taste of Sambuca is like liquorice, and the alcohol content is not always obviously tasted.. Meaning the chances are you're getting drunker than you think, because it's 40% but it doesn't really seem like it!

          However, as much as I enjoyed drinking it last night, it is one of those drinks that can indeed make you feel very sick! I'm not sure whether it's the liquorice taste or the kick you feel when you drink it, but I certainly felt quite rough by the end of the night, and even worse in the morning! (But I suppose that is what comes from mixing drinks!)

          Sambuca can be bought for about £13 a bottle, and is quite an expensive shot in clubs and bars, although obviously prices vary.

          Something which I haven't tried, but somebody told me last night, is that you put coffee beans on top of a shot of sambuca and set fire to it?! I haven't tried it, but it certainly sounds interesting!

          Overall, I was quite happy drinking sambuca, but I wouldn't drink it regularly, I think it's more of a special occasion/big night out type of drink :)

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            06.10.2008 11:05
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            I like this when getting ready to go out.

            This liquer is the bain of my life. Everytime I go round to a friends someone makes me do a few shots. Its nice and warming, and quite tasty, so you have a few more. By the end of the evening your feeling sick and its no longer a nice drink.

            It is about 40% which is quite strong, but the liquorice taste disguises this and makes it a tasty shot to do.

            Where I work at a bar, it is my least favourite shot to serve, this is because its a very sticky liquid, and quite thick. The top of the bottle is so sticky it covers your hands, so when taking money etc quickly, everything gets all sticky.

            Its also quite an expensive shot to do when your out. Prices range from £1.60 (my bar) to £3! Bearing in mind a bottle costs about £13 or less from Aldi!

            If you like liquorice then this is the shot for you, its also a nice after dinner drink, as it warms you up and is quite sweet. I would buy your own bottle rather than buying shots seperately in a club as it is much better value for money. Only problem is when you are measuring your own shots then you might be a bit more liberal than they are in a bar!

            Warning: This liquor can make you very very hungover if consumed in large quantities as I found out on 1st July when I had 2 friends to stay, and we finished the whole bottle.

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              06.10.2008 10:47
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              Good party drink

              From the Luxardo distillery in Torriglia, Italy.

              Cost - £13.29 for 700ml at Tesco currently.

              On a rare night out at the weekend to celebrate my friend's daughters 21st birthday I was made to try a couple of different drinks as shots. - Totally forced into this you understand!
              The first shot is a drink I have heard of but never tried - Sambuca!

              I will point out that this was the first alcoholic drink of the night so I am able to give a "sober" review.

              The firm behind this liqueur was founded in 1821 by Giralimo Luxardo - though it was his wife Maria who had dedicated her time to making liqueurs at home. The first drink to be produced by them was Maraschino and the sixth generation of the Luxardo family still own 100% of the firm to this day.

              Sambuca takes its name from the Arab word Zamut meaning anise. It is an Italian drink, made from the seeds of star anise, - hence the distinct aniseed taste. These are soaked in pure alcohol and steam distilled to give essential oils. Other natural aromas and sugar solution are added to this as well. It is a clear liquid that is very sweet and extremely strong coming in at 38% volume alcohol and is definitely a love it hate it drink.

              This liqueur has won several awards including a gold medal in 1998 in London in an international wine and spirit competition.

              Packaging - this differs depending on the size but a 700ml bottle is typically in a tall clear glass bottle with the words Luxardo Sambuca in large red lettering with the Luxardo seal in gold finish.

              Not a drink to have too much of - its has a sharp taste with a definite major kick to it the second it hits your throat, this does give rise to a rather nice warm feeling, leaving the strong aniseed taste in the mouth lingering for quite a while afterwards.

              I have looked into the other ways this liqueur can be enjoyed. One main idea seems to be serving the Sambuca in a liqueur glass and adding 3 roasted coffee beans to it which float on the top! These are set alight and served, then you blow out the flame and drink whilst warm - may try this for the purposes of research!

              Here are a couple of cocktail ideas

              Flatliner

              Use half a shot of Sambuca, add a layer of tobacco sauce, then add a half shot of vodka - I would imagine this is quite a powerful one!

              Jackel and Hyde

              Fill half a shot glass with Sambuca and slowly pour half a shot of Jagermiester to it.

              Slippery Nipple

              Pour 25ml Sambuca into a double shot glass and add a layer of 25ml baileys on top, then enjoy! - As Baileys is a favourite of mine I will definitely need to try this one!

              I certainly enjoyed my first taste of Sambuca and to anyone who likes aniseed and an occasional "naughty" drink - I would definitely give this a go.

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                13.09.2008 20:33
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                try it out if you havent already x

                Virtually everyone will have heard of Sambucca im sure, and the majority of you will have tried it and made up your mind whether you love it or hate it, most people I know love it, and if they don't that's down to a bad experience after getting too drunk, violently ill and decided they can no longer go near the drinks they touched that night... sadly Sambucca being one of them. Personally I love Sambucca.

                You drink it Sambucca as a shot - it is 40% so quite strong and may take a little while to hit you, so take it easy to begin with. Many people say it tastes like liquorish, but saying that I hate liquorish and love Sambucca, so I wouldn't let that put you off the drink. Sambucca has a very distinctive taste and smell.

                A lot of people set fire to the Sambucca while it is in the glass, put the flame out (which by the way has given of pretty colours by this point) by covering it with their hand, and then down the drink straight after, it does taste slightly different doing this as obviously the drink has been warmed up. I have done this several times, and only found out a couple of months ago that this actually burns the alcohol so congratulations you've just wasted your money.

                In a club, obviously depending which one and how expensive it is in general but you can expect to pay around £2 - £3 for a shot. If you go to a supermarket and buy Sambucca by the bottle, although its not as widely available as other spirits if you manage to get hold of it, a 700ml bottle will cost you about £12. Before buying a bottle id recommend just trying a shot of it next time your out and see if you too like it!

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                15.10.2005 21:01
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                An entertaining tipple, sure to get everyone in the mood!!!

                I first discoved Black Sambuca in Rarotonga and it became the drink of the trip during my tour of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands with my best friend. It is popular in Australasia although sadly it can be hard to find in bars in the UK. Luxardo is the most poular and in my opinion the best brand, although Opal and Romano are also good.

                About Sambuca
                ********************************************************************

                Sambuca is an Italian liquer with an anise-flavor, produced by the infusion of elder bush and licorice, sweetened with sugar and flavoured by a secret combination of herbs and spices. It is similar to nature to Ouzo and Pernod.

                White Sambuca is the traditional and generally the more popular, having a mellower licorice taste and being clear in colour. Black sambuca is much heavier and it has a dark black colour. Both smell strongly of aniseed and alcohol. I personally like the smell although I am sure many don't.

                I prefer black sambuca by a long shot although white has more use within cocktails.

                About Luxardo
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                The Luxardo family have been making liqueurs since 1821. Their Sambuca is an infusion of green Sicilian aniseed, plump Paduan elderberries and the purest grain alcohol. Luxardo Sambuca is rounded and smoothed by six months gentle maturation in Finnish wood vats.


                The Bottle.
                *********************************************************************

                The bottles are lovely and very classy looking. They are tall and slender, shaped like a wine bottle but thinner and taller. The bottle has green and Red piping on the label to represent its country of origin.

                They are screw top and can be hard to open if you let the liquid get everywhere before you re-fit. The sugar will crystalise over time and consequently it may be hard to re-open.


                Price and Availability
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                Luxardo Sambuca is the brand most commonly sold in bars. The white is easy to come across but finding the black is much more of a challenge and few places sell it. It is not cheap and you should expect to pay between £3-5 per shot depending on the establishment in question.

                Outside of the bars it is available in most supermarkets and some off-licenses and you should expect to pay about £15 for a 750ml bottle.

                Alcohol Content
                ********************************************************************

                This baby is not for the faint hearted. It is 38% proof, so I suggest that you don't drink buckets full of it.

                I suppose I should say something about drinking sensibly and not binge drinking and the fact that you must be over 18 to legally buy and to legally consume this product.


                Drinking it
                ********************************************************************

                Black sambuca is usually served alone (No Ice) and has a reputation as a shooter. It can be diluted with water and in classy establishments it is oftern found with three coffee beans serving on the surface (legend has it that these are a symbol of romance).

                For the daring try setting it alight, but do blow it out before you swallow and don't let it burn too long as the alcohol content will rapidly diminish.

                For the VERY daring take the sambuca into your mouth, but don't swallow. Tilt your head back, and open you mouth, and have a friend light the sambuca in your mouth before you swallow it. I have experimented with this considerably in my younger more daring days.... I doubt I would have the nerve anymore.

                Obviously caution needs to be taken if you are going to try this... I have heard and seen disaster stories and I have a very funny clip of some guy who got it very wrong on e-mail if anyone wants to see it just let me know!

                If that's not up your street then thankfully sambuca can also be used in cocktails. Here are a couple of examples:

                >>>Russian Roulette<<<
                25ml Kahlua or other coffee liquer
                25ml Vodca
                50ml Black Smabuca

                >>>Flaming Lamborghini<<<
                25ml Kahlua
                25ml Baileys
                25ml Blue curacao
                25ml Sambuca
                Matches to light

                My Opinion
                **********************************************************************

                OK, I HATE aniseed but for some bizarre reason this is the exception to the rule. It isn't too overpowering and doesn't leave too much of a nasty aftertaste.

                Luxardo black sambuca isn't to be sipped it is a fun pre-night out drink that should be enjoyed in a social situation, by knocking it straight down the gullet. Thankfully it isn't too harsh and it won't feel like you're drinking paint stripper. Additionally the high alcohol content is sure to get you in the partying mood!

                Admittedly it can be hard to find and it is fairly expensive but it is well worth the effort to find it. Give it a try!! Five stars from me!!

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                  10.09.2003 15:48
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                  As many of you will no doubt be aware I have recently returned from my yearly foray to the Reading Festival. And of course as I mentioned previously a bottle of some variety of spirit really is a must, Richard has his bottle of Whiskey, Pete his bottle of Archers and me well I’m sure you know that my tipple of choice has got to be Sambuca. Now Sambuca is a drink I know almost everyone has heard of but it is actually surprising the amount of people that haven’t actually tried it. Now of course you can be put off straight away by the fact that it is a shot and of course the smell but I’ll get to all that shortly. But first up a brief history lesson and I will try to keep it brief. So what is Sambuca and where does it come from. Well traditionally it is an Italian after dinner drink, made from traditional Italian products, with the main ingredient being Sicilian aniseed. And finished off with six months of gentle maturation in Finish ash wood vaults. It was first made in 1821by the Luxardo family, after whom the official make of the drink is named. The combination of ingredients makes the alcohol content in Sambuca 38%. So time to crack open that bottle and pour myself a shot. The first thing that will hit you is just how strong the aniseed will smell. It is almost an overcoming smell and makes a shot of Sambuca instantly recognizable. The taste as well is a sensation that only Sambuca can really create, with a strong taste of aniseed as well means that it can be hard to knock back. The potency of the alcohol seems to be heightened by the taste, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending upon how you look at it. And the final thing that will get you about a shot of Sambuca has to be the after taste, it’s very harsh with the aniseed seemingly being left in the back of your throat, which still containing alcohol proceeds to get you just a little bit more drunk. Of course a swig of something else is alw
                  ays advisable to wash the taste from the back of your mouth, as you can still smell the aniseed, which on occasion I have known to make myself and others a little bit ill. If you are intending on having Sambuca and don’t just want to take it as a straight shot, you can always use the suggested method for serving it. Basically you take your shot glass and place three coffee beans on the top before preceding to set the drink alight. Now obviously before you actually start to drink it the best idea is to put the flame out by placing your hand over the glass, to stop the oxygen getting to it. Now I’ve never known anyone to burn their hand doing this but be careful. Having burnt a bit of the alcohol the taste is also altered and isn’t as harsh as just drinking it straight. To actually buy it most supermarkets will sell it by the bottle, the last one I bought from a supermarket was from Sainsburys and for a 500ml bottle set me back the pricey sum of £12.50. However I now buy it from Cost-Co when I do need a bottle and the 1L bottle I bought from there came to just under £18 so a pretty good bargain considering. So there we have it a quality Italian Liqueur that works if your looking to get very drunk, or for just a casual drink to warm you up before a night out. The after taste is the only downside of it for me, but I’m sure the aniseed taste will put a lot of people off. One last thing if your out on a big night, birthday or the like, then why not try something a few of us do every now and then, Every hour on the hour have a shot of Sambuca and see how many you can go for.

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                    08.05.2001 04:11
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                    • "Black difficult to find"

                    While it may be an acquired taste because of its anise flavour, Sambuca is a lovely after-dinner treat. It warms your whole body as it travels down your throat toward your welcoming tummy. And, I have to admit, I prefer Luxardo to Romana (another popular brand) in taste, although the former is slightly more sugary than the latter. As it is a specialty item, Sambuca is expensive - but look for it in the duty free. I brought back a lovely bottle of black Sambuca from South Africa of all places - and it only set me back £5. Sambuca is a lovely sipping liqueur. However, as most of us know, the taste is improved by lighting it for a short time - a pursuit best done with the lights off - in order to enjoy the ghostly blue glow of the burning alcohol. Thus, as Homer Simpson said in the Flaming Moe episode: "I don't know why, but fire made it good..." I especially recommend finding some Black Sambuca. I have never tried the brand that dooyoo has listed, nor have I ever seen it, but I have tried a few others and currently prefer Romana Black. Black Sambuca taste more of licorice (ie less sweet anise) and possesses a beautiful rich purple hue. I hope you've found this useful if you are deciding which brand to try. And please, do try it.

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                      19.03.2001 16:09
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                      Now I have only drunk this sambucca when in a rather drunken state but what I can say is that this is a very tasty and very fun drink. It is flavoured of anniseed and can be purchased in the clear or 'black' form, both of which taste rather similar but the black version has a crispier taste and a sweeter aftertaste. You may think that there are loads of anniseed drinks out there such as aftershock, but sambucca is much sweeter and thicker (more like a liquer than a sprit) and has the advantage of oftenj being drunk as a "flaming slammer". Basically to drink a flaming sambucca the order of events is as follows. 1.Get a thin shot glass, a lighter and fill the glass with sambucca (obvious really). Take a second glass and place it face down. 2. Tip the sambucca slightly to the side and light the edge with the tip of the flame. A small blue flame will engulf the surface of the drink. 3. Dont wait too long (less than 5 seconds is usually right) and place the plam of your hand over the flame pushing down quickly on to the rim of the glass. You will not get burnt, it will feel warm and as the flame sucks up all the remaining oxygen below your hand, your palm will become stuck to the glass. 4.Bang your hand 3 times on the table with your glass stuck to it, pull your palm off and down the warm sambucca. 5. Pour the dreggs of the sambucca onto the bottom of the upturned glass and sniff it up your nose!!! (really!!) Pissed person results and sticky nose and hand.. Lick it clean!! Yummie Chers All 5.

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                    • Product Details

                      Luxardo Sambuca - the authentic Italian after-dinner liqueur. The Luxardo family have been making their world famous liqueurs since 1821. Their Sambuca is an infusion of green Sicilian aniseed, plump Paduan elderberries and the purest grain alcohol. Luxardo Sambuca is rounded and smoothed by six months gentle maturation in Finnish wood vats.