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I like Sambuca, but it's a bit pricey. After doing some research for sambuca recipes on the web and experimenting with ingredients at home, I came up with a decent substitute for it.
750 ml (approx. one fifth)
Dissolve the honey in approx. 1 c. of the vodka. Then separately mix the anise extract with the remaining vodka and add this to the honey mixture, and shake well. This is best served and consumed ice-cold! Note: using honey gives this a richer, more complex flavor & texture, but also gives a cloudy, amber color to the liquor.
One may substitute an equal amount of 'Simple Syrup' for the honey, if desired. (See: http://www.drinkboy.com/LiquorCabinet/Syrups/SimpleSyrup.html for a recipe.)
I have used 190 proof alcohol plus an equal volume of water to make the 100 proof alcohol. One should then dissolve the honey or simple syrup in the water first, then mix in the alcohol plus anise extract.
This recipe was provided by Steven Kramer from Des Plaines.