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Sabra has been around for a very long time, and rightly so. Both for those who are crazy about chocolate (like myself) and those who can take chocolate or leave it (like my husband) - it is a wonderful after dinner drink that has just the right combination of sweet and kick.
For those who love chocolate, the taste of the chocolate is absolutely central to this drink. For those who are indifferent to chocolate, the orange overtones mellow out the chocolate and give it a sort of "bite" and making it far more refreshing to drink straight than a plain chocolate liqueur. The product is also slightly thick - like most liqueurs - so if you want to splash a little bit of it on your plain vanilla ice cream... YUM!
But to give you a better idea of the taste, let me try to describe it as you might experience it. When you open the unusually shaped bottle you will be greeted by three scents - the sharp kick of alcohol, then a spicy orange tang followed by an undertone of the sweet chocolate. This pleasant mixture of different scents seems to meld together. This pours out a deep, dark caramel colored liquid with a golden glow to it, which is particularly pretty and warming looking.
When you take your first sip youll feel the alcohol immediately on the tip of your tongue. As the liqueur flows through your mouth youll taste first the bright, clean and refreshing taste of the orange part of this drink, which will almost make your mouth feel like youve taken a sip of a sharply flavoured orange fizzy drink. I say sharply since there will be little to no sweetness in the taste, as yet. It will only be as this goes down your throat that youll get the aftertaste of the sweet, slightly nutty chocolate flavour coming through, which has an almost milky undertone (although not as milky as Cadbury Dairy Milk, but I think you get the idea). The chocolate also has a slightly nutty highlight to its taste, which is fairly soft more akin to almonds than hazelnuts. This will leave your mouth with the unusual combination of feeling refreshed and yet softly sweetened, with the alcohol and more of the orange zest feeling coming through up into your nasal passages. As these fade, the main taste will remain quite chocolaty leaving a slightly thick film on your tongue, but because of the tangy orange, you wont get any sickly sweet feeling with this. Quite a lovely experience, if you ask me.
I always make sure I have a bottle of this in my home - but not just for drinking. I find this an essential component to my chocolate cakes, adding it with or instead of vanilla to give my confections a "twist". It can also be used in making chocolate sauces for topping cake, and as I said above - splashed on ice cream. For the adventurous, try making a "Sabra & Cream" drink (you know, like Kaluah but substituting Sabra), for a completely different cocktail.
A few years ago, the makers of Sabra came out with a coffee flavored drink - this is, I believe: coffee and orange. It sounds interesting, but I haven't tried it yet. If I get the chance to do so, I'll update this review for those real chocolate haters (can't really be all that many out there, can there?) and true coffee lovers (who can't really be all that bad, either).
This product can usually be found in any good off license shop. They sell the pretty bottles, which contain 750ml of the liqueur. A smaller bottle of only 250ml is also available but the bottle is shaped like a hip flask (not as much fun, nor as attractive on your bar shelf). The package is usually dark green with gold lettering, and the bottle's labels have a green parchment-like background with gold and white lettering. Finally, the liqueur itself contains 30% alcohol - about par for the course of any liqueur.
In sum, I love this liqueur, and would recommend it highly to anyone looking for a new after dinner treat, or addition to or on his or her deserts. Five stars (but of course, how could I give it any less?)!
Thanks for reading!
Davida Chazan © July 2002, updated July 2006
Sabra is made by Carmel Wines and their agents in the UK are:
Vini Italia Ltd.
Contact person: Mario Penge
Tel: +44 208 6441177
Fax: +44 208 641 8118
Ive found this on-line at KosherWineonline.co.uk http://www.kosherwineonline.co.uk/productdetail.asp?productid=6482
Where the price for one bottle is £16.70 and the price for a case of 6 bottles is £95.19 (5% saving per bottle)
According to the Carmel Wines webpage (at www.carmelwines.co.il):
Sabra is The Liqueur of Israel and Israels most recognizable beverage.
Production Sabra Liqueurs are produced by Carmel Winery at Rishon le Zion, south of Tel Aviv.
Liqueurs - There are two liqueurs: The original Sabra Orange Chocolate Liqueur and Sabra Coffee liqueur, both 30% alcohol.
Sabra Chocolate Orange Liqueur - combines the sweetness of chocolate, and the bitterness from the zest of orange peel. The chocolate flavor is from a percolation of neutral spirit through ground-roasted cocoa beans to which natural orange flavor is added. A gold medal winner in the IWSC in London.
Sabra Coffee Liqueur - silky, smooth, with a toasty coffee flavor against a backdrop of vanilla. Medium bodied and well balanced. Made by a percolation of neutral spirit through ground coffee beans. A silver medal winner in the IWSC in London.
Bottle - The unique bottle is based on a 2,000-year-old Phoenician wine flask found in a Tel Aviv museum.
The name - 'Sabra' is the fruit of a cactus grown in Israel and the word is used to describe native-born Israelis.
Kashrut Sabra Liqueurs are Kosher & Kosher for Passover
"Sabra Orange Chocolate Liqueur, Israel, unique geenie like bottle, this liqueur has chocolate and orange flavors, but in a half-hearted light way. A product of Israel. Great as a mixer or in brownies; dessert- after meal liquor."