Enthusiasts that don’t want to purchase this Italian liqueur in stores can make Sambuca at home without any limitations. This recipe is very simple, and it doesn’t require a lot of effort, time, and money. Plus all of the ingredients used are highly accessible. The production technology is described below.
Note. Sambuca’s producers hold the real recipe in secret which is highly confidential, proprietary, and protected by law. That’s why we’ll make a similar drink with a taste resembling that of Sambuca.
- Ethanol (96%) or moonshine (70%) – 700 ml
- Anise – 100 grams
- Elderberry – 25 grams
- Sugar – 400 grams
- Water – 550 ml
Anise and elderberry should be purchased in large stores or supermarkets in spices department. Don’t buy them off hands, because you might end up with something completely else.
Homemade Sambuca burns just like the original drink
- Infusion. Mix elderberries and anise with ethanol and stir. Seal the container and let it infuse for 5 days in a dark warm place (18-25 °C). Shake it once a day.
- Distillation. Strain the decoction and remove the herbs. Dilute it with water to 18-20%. You can put the herbs in a steam dome of the moonshine still but don’t put them in a distillation still because they will burn. Distill the mixture. Finish the distillation process when ABV drops below 45%. Collect the first 50 ml separately and dispose of it. This fraction contains too much essential oil which spoils the taste.
- Mixing. Cook a sugar syrup by mixing water and sugar in a cooking pot and then bringing the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 4-5 minutes. During the cooking process, a white foam will start forming on the surface of the syrup which needs to be removed with a spoon. When there’s no more foam the syrup is ready. Remove the syrup from the cooking stove and cool it down to room temperature. After that, mix it with the anise distillate.
- Aging. Bottle the resulting drink and seal it with corks. Infuse it for one day at room temperature and strain it through a cotton wool filter afterward. In order to bring out the flavor of your homemade Sambuca, you should age it for 7-10 days in a dark place. Homemade Sambuca’s shelf-life if stored away from direct sunlight is up to 3 years. It has 37-41% ABV.