Sambuca fans around the world rejoice, Averna is awakening a new anise-flavored liqueur with a sweetly refreshing beverage which will rock your senses. What the heck is anise, aniseed and what is this star anise I talk about?
Aniseed is a flowering plant containing liquorice-like components, specifically black liquorice. If you hate black liquorice you’ll wanna take a huge pass on Sambuca and any aniseed-style liquor. For everyone else, we carry on…
Star Anise is a spice that resembles that of standard anise in flavor but is harvested from a star-shaped fruit grown on evergreen trees in southwest China. In terms of Sambuca, Star Anise contains anethole which is the compound giving Star Anise the properties of black liquorice or that of anise and fennel. Star Anise isn’t truly related to that of the standard anise flower but it has the same taste properties, so for our needs it serves the same purpose.
What does that mean to us, the casual drinker? We just want to drink right?
“Anethole is distinctly sweet as well as having its flavoring properties and is measured to be 13 times sweeter than sugar. It is perceived as being pleasant to the taste even at higher concentrations.” (wikipedia)
Sweeter than sugar? Now, consider Averna Sambuca is 100% Star Anise–100% better than sugar? I’ve had many sambuca brands and never have I found one that has this exact strength. At 42% alcohol by volume, Averna Sambuca does not hint at tasting like a alcoholic beverage! We’re talking a sweet, sticky drink with a smooth yet thick liqueur which reminds me of a piece of black Taffy more than that of an alcoholic substance.
This is probably the most dangerous 750ml I’ve handled in a long time–having the properties of candy without the stomach churning sweet aftertaste you’ll get from a midori or similar drink. The aftertaste is lip numbing black liquorice and, although supposedly super sweet, it doesn’t have the same impact on the body as a pure sugar substance.
These Italians have this drink down to a science, especially given Averna is new to Sambuca. You’d suspect a company new to the style of liqueur would have to work to get it correct but I’m hoping they keep the recipe the same–perfection.
Fan of Sambuca? Consider Averna for your next purchase! Just remember, this is an alcoholic substance and not a candy; know your limits and drink responsibly.