Sambuca is an Italian aniseed-flavoured liqueur, the ‘made in Italy’ gives you a clue as to why Espresso beans are sometimes found in shots of Sambuca especially when you order a shot in an Italian bar. Ok here’s why
The first thing to establish is there is no such thing as an ‘Espresso Bean’ they are all Coffee Beans. Espresso means “expressed” in Italian so translated to English means “to express” or “to force out” Espresso gets its name from the extraction process used with Coffee Beans to make Espresso.
Coffee Beans can appear in Sambuca in different quantities and for different reasons
A single coffee bean means “on the fly” which came from “C’è Una Mosca!” or “Look, a fly!” in English. Legend dictates this term came from some famous Italian actors who used to frequent Romes bars.
Three coffee beans are symbolic and mean “health, happiness and prosperity” (a bean for each) three beans are usually served by superstitious Barista’s. Sometimes the Sambuca is ignited for a few seconds (briefly roasting the coffee beans and adding some flavour) before being extinguished and downed.
Seven coffee beans are symbolic of the seven hills of Rome and in case you’re wondering the seven hills are Aventine Hill, Caelian Hill, Capitoline Hill, Esquiline Hill, Palatine Hill, Quirinal Hill and Viminal Hill.