Although traditionally enjoyed alone, sambuca makes a wonderfully refreshing cocktail ingredient that can add a sweet and herbal twist to your drink.
In this guide, you will discover the top 10 best sambuca cocktails to make at home:
- Sambuca Caffè Corretto
- Flaming Sambuca A La Mosca
- Italian Tourist
- Sambuca Sazerac
- Sambuca Coffee Frappe
- Vesper Sambuca
- Fairy’s Flower Lemonade
- Terry’s Orange Coffee
- Flaming Lamborghini
Simply use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to read them all!
What Are The Best Sambuca Cocktails?
Check Out The Best Sambuca Brands
1. Sambuca Caffè Corretto
Although you could argue that a caffè corretto isn’t strictly a cocktail, it’s a great way to enjoy sambuca and one of the traditional ways to serve it.
Simply add a 5 ml (⅙ Oz) of sambuca to an espresso cup and swirl it around so it leaves an even coating of spirit on the inside. Afterwards, just pour in the 45 ml (1.5 Oz) of coffee straight from the espresso machine.
No need to add sugar, the sambuca sweetens the espresso enough!
2. Flaming Sambuca A La Mosca
Another option that isn’t quite a cocktail but is an absolute must-try way of enjoying sambuca is A La Mosca. In our main sambuca guide, we explain how this means “with the fly” as well as its origins.
Simply add one to three coffee beans to a shot of sambuca and set it alight. Let the flame gently roast the coffee bean and caramelised it with the sambuca’s sugars. Afterwards, simply sip it an enjoy. If you catch a coffee bean, bite into it for some additional flavour.
Finally, we prefer using a jet flame lighter as it’s easier when lighting from an angle.
3. Italian Tourist
A fruity way of enjoying sambuca, the Italian Tourist is a colourful and zesty cocktail that we believe was created by the Antica Distillery. To make an Italian tourist, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 15 ml (0.5 Oz) Sambuca
- 45 ml (1.5 Oz) Passion Fruit Liqueur
- 20 ml (⅔ Oz) Lime Juice
- 100 ml (3.4 Oz) Grapfruit Juice
Simply shake all the ingredients with ice and then strain it into a highball or Collins glass pre-filled with crushed ice. You can then garnish it with half of a passion fruit.
4. Sambuca Sazerac
We can’t remember where we first heard of this fantastic twist on a classic absinthe cocktail. However, you simply replace the absinthe with a larger dose of sambuca, which creates a sweeter, more anise-forward cocktail. You’ll need the following ingredients:
- 60 ml (2 Oz) Bourbon Whiskey
- 30 ml (1 Oz) Sambuca
- 4 Dashes Angostura Bitters
- Lemon Peel
Use a mixing glass with ice to combine the bourbon, sambuca, and bitters. Stir until cold and then strain into a tumbler over broken ice. You can then use lemon peel as garnish.
5. Sambuca Coffee Frappe
You’ve probably realised that there’s a theme here with all these coffee references! After all, it’s one of the most famous pairings with sambuca. Simply combine 30 ml (1 Oz) of sambuca with 15 ml (½ Oz) of coffee liqueur.
Shake it well with ice and then stream it into a cocktail glass or a small shot glass like the one above. You can use a little whipped cream to garnish or a lime peel instead.
6. Vesper Sambuca
An exhilarating twist on James Bond’s original cocktail, we’ll be replacing the dry white quinquina with sweet and herbal sambuca. You’ll need the following ingredients:
First, combine the gin, vodka, and sambuca and stir with ice. Afterwards, strain the ingredients into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.
Here’s a cocktail that we discovered on Molinari’s official site who has a variety of sambuca concoctions worth checking out. The Sambucata is somewhat similar to the Vesper but arguably more flavoursome thanks to the addition of bitters and essential oils.
Furthermore, the vodka is replaced with sambuca while Vermouth is used instead of quinquina.
- 5 ml (⅙ Oz) Sambuca
- 40 ml (1.4 Oz) Gin
- 25 ml (0.8 Oz) White Vermouth
- 2 Drops Orange Bitters
- 1 Drop Essential Oil
Stir the ingredients in a chilled mixing glass and strain over ice. It looks particularly fantastic using a chilled Nick & Nora glass!
8. Fairy’s Flower Lemonade
An excellent summer refreshment, we spotted this wordy concoction on Meletti’s Instagram page! You will need:
- 30 ml (1 Oz) Sambuca
- 120 ml (4 Oz) Mineral Water
- 1 Whole Lemon
- Mint Leaves
Thoroughly squeeze the lemon into a mixing glass, add the sambuca, and stir the ingredients. Pour into a Highball or Collins glass pre-filled with ice and top up with the water to taste. If it’s a little sour, you can add sugar but this is best done beforehand so it has fully dissolved.
Add the mint leaves and a twist of lemon for garnish.
9. Terry’s Orange Coffee
We named these after the UK’s favourite Christmas chocolate orange. However, it’s probably a well-known cocktail by a different name! This will be a last (but not least) coffee and sambuca cocktail. It’s a wonderfully gourmand experience for people who enjoy full flavours.
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- 90 ml (3 Oz) Hot Double Espresso
- 30 ml (1 Oz) Grand Marnier
- 30 ml (1 Oz) Sambuca
- Whipped Cream
Add both the sambuca and Grand Marnier into a warm, large espresso cup and swirl it until it’s mixed and evenly coating the inside. Top it up with the coffee and gently stir it.
Finally, unlike the Frappe earlier, this demands whipped cream on top. Leave it on top or mix it in, you’ll love this richly-flavoured sambuca cocktail.
10. Flaming Lamborghini
A popular take on the classic Flaming Sambuca, the Lamborghini consists of the following ingredients in equal measures:
- Coffee Liqueur
- Blue Curacao
- Irish cream
We admit that it’s a weird one but it’s very popular in nightclubs. The sambuca and coffee liqueur are served together in a cocktail glass. Meanwhile, the Irish cream and blue curacao are in two shot glasses next to it.
The bartender sets the cocktail glass’ contents alight and you start drinking it through a straw. As the glass empties, you pour in the shot glasses at the same time.
Honestly, we’re not convinced and it just sounds like a messy recipe for a fire hazard! However, we’d love to hear your thoughts about this one in the comments!
Now that you have read about the best sambuca cocktails, why don’t you check out some of our related spirit guides?