Tonight, while the early summer rain pitterpattered down onto the deck outside Deborah Krasner’s barn in Vermont, I enjoyed my first sambuca. I’d had some similar anise-flavored drinks before–we snuck anisette from parents’ liquor cabinets in high school, and threw back sambuca, shot by warming shot, before corporate-league ski races at Wachussett Mountain.
But tonight, I tasted it as it was meant to be: as an aperitif, a served over ice and cut by about 4 parts water. Sweet, but not cloying, and anise-flavored, but nothing like black licorice, the sambuca was pure summer: light, fresh-tasting, and invigorating, with none of the too-bracing flavor I once associated with sambuca. I do think I like it.
For more information on Deborah Krasner’s Vermont culinary vacations, visit: