Eat & Drink with Ali & Marco


78. Sambuca Episode

Season 1, Ep. 78

Thanks to our listener Laurel, today's episode is all about Sambuca! The liquorice tasting liqueur can be used not just to set your friends on fire.

Here are Marco's Top Picks for Sambuca brands:

  1. Molinari Sambuca Extra
  2. Luxardo Sambuca Dei Cesari
  3. Borghetti Sambuca Oro

And here is a Sweet treat to make with your Sambuca:


• 1 cup water

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

• 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Sambuca

• 2 pound strawberries, trimmed, then halved or quartered if large


Bring water, sugar, and lemon juice to a boil in a saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into saucepan you can add the pod too if you like. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then boil until reduced to about 1 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in Sambuca.

NowTransfer syrup to a bowl and let cool completely. Stir in strawberries and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes to 1 hour. Discard pod.

Then you use that over ice-cream.

Pound cake or however you like your strawberries.


If you're a fan of Mussels, here is a really great way to elevate them past the classic white wine and beer-based lighter sauces. AND DONT FORGET TO PICK UP A BAGUETTE!


2 tbsp Olive Oil

1 cup sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)

3-4 cloves garlic, minced finely

1/2 tsp red chili flakes

2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded

2 ounces Sambuca

1 cup dry white wine or lager beer

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Coriander, basil or parsley


1/4 cup cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup julienned carrots

1/2 cup whipping cream or coconut milk


  • Turn the heat to medium high under a wide or heavy-bottomed pot that has a fitting lid
  • Add the olive oil and saute the leeks, garlic and chilli flakes for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Stir in the mussels and toss with the hot oil.
  • Add the sambuca, scraping any flavoring from the base of the pot, followed by the white wine or beer, and cream if using
  • Add in cherry tomatoes, if using
  • Cover and steam the mussels until they open, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with herb and other vegetables, if using
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately with some high quality fresh bread!