The Origin of Sambuca

Are you a fan of Sambuca and ever wondered where it comes from?

The etymology is disputed: the Molinari company states that the name Sambuca comes from an Arabic word – Zammut. This was the name of an anise-flavoured drink that arrived to the port of Civitavecchia by ships coming from the East.The Oxford English Dictionary states, however, that the term comes from the Latin word sambucus, meaning “elderberry”.

The Greek word Sambuca was first used as the name of another elderberry liquor that was created in Civitavecchia about 130 years ago.

The first commercial version of such a drink started at the end of 1800 in Civitavecchia, where Luigi Manzi started selling Sambuca Manzi. In 1945, soon after the end of Second World War, commendatore Angelo Molinari started producing Sambuca Extra Molinari, which helped popularise Sambuca throughout Italy.

Did you know that Sambuca is traditionally served with three coffee beans? And so we learn!

Sambuca is available at Ultra Liquors, nationwide.


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