How to Make Your Own Sambuca at Home

In this short post I’m sharing my homemade sambuca recipe with you. It’s fairly easy to make this sweet anise Italian liquor at home. It will not be completely the same, but this DIY sambuca definitely tastes good!

Make Your Own Sambuca

Although I work on my health quite a bit (for example, read my fire the belly series) I do like an occasional glass of sambuca.

Buying the stuff is easy, but not cheap. A bottle runs you approximately 20 euros here in The Netherlands. I thought that could be cheaper.

Turns out, it can be done cheaper by putting in some work, raw ingredients, and patience. You can make your own sambuca at home!

make your own sambuca
home made sambuca after a week

DIY Sambuca Recipe

The sambuca recipe is simple. All you need is:

  • 500 ml white rum
  • 200 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon aniseed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed

You’ll also need a clean, glass bottle for your homemade sambuca. I used an empty whiskey bottle, but really any type of bottle will do. For this recipe make sure it’s a 700 ml bottle.

Put all the ingredients in the bottle, and shake it lightly. You have to store the bottle in a dark location, but not in the fridge. I’ve placed mine behind the couch. Just remember where it is because you need to shake the ingredients every day!

The process takes a month, so be prepared.

How It Works

Two things are happening in the bottle. The first thing is that the sugar dissolves in the alcohol, but this process can take the entire first week! It might seem you have added too much sugar, this is not the case! Be patient, the sugar will completely dissolve.

The second thing that happens is cold extraction. This process looks a bit like brewing tea, but it takes much longer! Cold extraction enables you to make your own sambuca by extracting flavor, color, and smell into the liquid.

After a month, your drink is ready! Two steps are left, you will need a dishcloth and a coffee filter.

First, you filter the sambuca through the dishcloth to get rid of the spices. Then you filter the liquid through the coffee filter once and your DIY sambuca is ready to drink!

What Does This Sambuca Cost?

Where I live, a bottle of sambuca would cost about 20 euros. This recipe was free for me since I already had all the ingredients. I always have spices on hand, and I got a bottle of rum as a gift. Now I don’t drink rum, so I made it into sambuca.

However, if you were to buy ingredients, I think you’ll be set back 8 euros for the rum (it doesn’t have to be great quality), and perhaps some 2-4 euros for the spices, sugar, and coffee filter. So all in all, it’s possible to make your own sambuca for half the cost of a bottle in the store!

An added benefit is feeling proud of making your own stuff instead of buying it.

2 thoughts on “How to Make Your Own Sambuca at Home”

  1. Hi Bas,
    Thank you for sharing the recipe! I am certainly going to try to make my own Sambuca ‘FTB-way’! I however happen to see a little discrepancy between your description on the label of the bottle and the written recipe: the amount of rum used seems to be different. Is there a reason why you changed it?