Health, happiness and prosperity -- three coffee beans floating on top of a sambuca served neat represent these three blessings. An Italian liqueur steeped in symbolism, the three beans supposedly bring more luck than an even number of beans would. It might seem little more than superstition, but the beans serve a purpose based in reality: Their aroma accentuates the elderberry and anise qualities of the liqueur.
Beans You Don't Brew
Press the aroma of the coffee beans into service as inspiration for creating your own sambuca cocktails. Try mixing sambuca with equal parts of cream liqueur, such as creme de cacao, and adding crushed ice for a warm summer night's cool down. Make a layered drink by pouring half the amount of coffee liqueur as sambuca for cloudburst of color as it sinks to the bottom. Just about anything that goes well with coffee fits the anise and elderberry of sambuca.
A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.