On Oct. 8, real Italians took time to salute Christopher Columbus' landmark arrival to the New World with Molinari Sambuca Extra, a real Italian-American tipple.
The anise-based liqueur can be consumed as an accompaniment to other beverages, or straight up in a small snifter topped with three coffee beans, a symbol of the Holy Trinity as well as health, happiness and prosperity.
It can be drunk straight, with "the fly" (three coffee beans), with ice, or right out of the freezer. Using wide-rimmed glass is advised to better savor the nose from Sambuca Extra Molinari. It is also often paired with an espresso coffee and some will drink it with grapefruit juice, which I don't endorse.
Molinari Sambuca Extra is a stout, clean addition to the Sambuca lines available around Gasparilla Island.
This is a fine new liqueur for Southwest Florida liquor cabinets. Molinari Sambuca Extra, suggested retail price of $29.99, is already the top-selling spirit in Italy.
Molinari Sambuca Extra is made from a closely guarded, secret formula that has been passed down through the Molinari family from generation to generation. It's a sweet, strong drink with none of the cloying after-tastes characteristic of lesser Sambuca blends.
The flavor and perfume of Sambuca Extra Molinari is based on anise. The star anise is combined with wheat alcohol, sugar and a very low content of ashes, as well as other natural aromas whose formula the family guards jealously.
Molinari Co. insists suppliers provide ingredients that have not been genetically modified.
Try these cocktails:
2 oz. Molinari Extra
1 oz. Lemon juice
1 oz. Sparkling water
Granny Smith apple
Fresh basil (12 leaves)
Preparation: Mash all the ingredients in the cocktail shaker, add Molinari Extra and shake well with crushed ice. Filter twice, pour into the glass and fill up with sparkling water. Serve in margarita glass.
1 oz. Molinari Extra
3 ox. Prosecco
5 white grape
Preparation: Mash the fruit, add Molinari Extra and shake well with crushed ice. Filter twice and pour into a chalice. Decorate with caramelized pear, anise and hazelnuts from Piedmont.
1 oz. Molinari Extra
1 oz. White rum
oz. orange juice
Preparation: Pour ingredients into the shaker with lots of ice. Shake well and serve in an ice-cold cocktail glass. Decorate with lemon zest spiral.