This week things are a little different to the norm you might have been expecting. The summer dinner party season will begin in earnest and you’ll need to be in the right frame of mind when considering the type of bottle to bring along to your hosts. Well the easy option is a bottle of wine or champagne – you can’t go wrong there. But if you’re feeling in the adventurous mood then you’ll do well to bring along something that will excite. Therefore this week’s recommendation for the discerning gent’s drinks cabinet is Luxardo Passione Nera Black Sambuca.
The name sambuca might frighten some of you. The mere hint of the word casts the memory back to a wild Friday night out when someone in the group shouts “…and now for shots of sambuca!”. The sudden vagueness of said memories might be cause for alarm but this type of liqueur isn’t for slamming shots. This is the type of liqueur that you bring out at the end of sumptuous meal to help the digestion along and stimulate the conversation further. Think of it as a great digestif.
Sambuca itself is a spirit originally crafted in Italy. From here its popularity grew as a digestif liqueur. Sambuca gains its flavour from the essential oils of star anise and elderflower, then aromatised with liquorice. The smell is unmistakable. The spirit is syrup-like due to the high sugar concentration used in production.
Commonly available as white or black variants, this Luxardo Passione Nera is the later. It still has the predominately star anise flavouring but with light spicy hints of cardamom and coriander. On the palate it has the feeling of a velvety sensation and the finish is typical of sambuca with the digestive aroma of liquorice.
So how does the discerning gent enjoy Passione Nera? It is best served neat after a meal, traditionally with three coffee beans as a garnish. Of course sambuca is highly flammable so if you’re after the extra effect of pyrotechnics simply light the spirit once poured into the glass – the alcohol will burn off and the coffee beans will have warmed up enough to add to the drink’s aroma. Just be careful with the glass as it has a tendency to get hot!
Luxardo Passione Nera is 38% ABV and available in 70cl bottles from The Drinks Shop, RRP £19.64
This sambuca can also be enjoyed in cocktails too. For cocktail ideas or further information about Luxardo’s range of sambuca, visit: www.luxardosambuca.com