The high quality of Antica Sambuca is determined by the combination of outstanding ingredients and production techniques that follow meticulous artisanal processes. Its main ingredients are anice stars and a blend of 17 herbs and spices, alcohol, water and sugar. The key ingredient is the anise stars fruits, whose seeds are rich in anethole oil, extracted through a process of steam distillation to give sambuca its distinctive flavour. Many other spices are used to get the anise distillate such as wormwood, cinnamon, fennel, white pepper, iris, bitter orange, sweet orange, coriander…
The alcohol plays a key role. The alcohol used in Antica Sambuca® is obtained from the distillation of sugar beet molasses. No less important is the water, which not only allows the spirit’s alcohol content to be adjusted, but in a solution with alcohol, it also extracts the aromatic substances from the herbs and spices.
The last ingredient is the sugar, which is extracted from sugar beet. Antica Sambuca contains high-quality sucrose with a very white colour. This allows for a colourless, crystalline final product, an essential characteristic of a high-quality spirit.
The most important step while producing Antica Sambuca is the preparation of the anise distillate, which forms the heart of this extraordinary Italian liqueur. It is obtained by distilling an infusion of star anise and a mixture of 17 herbs and spices. Rossi D’Asiago distillers still use a copper still dating back to the late 1940s with a bain-marie system.
The great advantage of distillation with this system is that the temperature is uniform throughout the chamber and there is no risk of damage to the product, thus preserving all the aromatic substances distilled. The result of the distillation process is a crystal-clear, intensely flavoured liquid, with an alcohol strength of about 70% abv. The distilled is now ready to be mixed with a syrup of sugar and water, bringing the final alcoholic content down to 38% vol.