Licorice Stick Martini

Licorice Stick Martini

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
258 Calories
0g Fat
12g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 258
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 17mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 0mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 1mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The licorice stick is the vodka martini created especially for anyone who prefers black licorice over the red variety. It's an extremely simple cocktail with a very distinct taste and, though it's not for everyone, those that have an affinity for the flavor really love it.

This recipe pairs vodka and sambuca, garnishing it with a black licorice stick. Sambuca is flavored with anise, the herbal spice that is responsible for the flavor of absinthe as well as black licorice.

Anise is used often in food, but when it comes to drinks, it can be an acquired taste. This is particularly true when it's mixed in a drink as transparent as this in which there are no contrasting flavors to tame the taste. You will definitely find that the licorice stick is among the most anise-dominant cocktails around, so break out that black licorice and enjoy!


  • 2 1/2 ounces vodka

  • 3/4 ounce anise liqueur

  • Black licorice stick, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker, pour the vodka and sambuca. Fill with ice.

  3. Shake well.

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

  5. Garnish with a short black licorice stick. Serve and enjoy.


  • When shaking with sambuca (or any anise-flavored liqueur), be sure to wash the cocktail shaker and any utensils very well. If you don't eliminate any leftover flavor, it can easily be picked up in the next drink you mix.
  • White sambuca is clear in color, though the liqueur is also available in other colors that will change the look, but not the flavor, of this martini. The other most common option is black sambuca, though you can also find red sambuca.
  • A cocktail glass is not deep, so cut your licorice stick in half (or a third) so the garnish is sized appropriately for the glass. A fun alternative is to wrap an entire stick of licorice around the inside of the glass to create a black spiral.

Recipe Variations

  • Try this cocktail with espresso vodka. The flavors of coffee and sambuca are a perfect pairing and the flavored vodka adds an interesting twist to the licorice stick.
  • Some sambucas are also flavored with red berries, typically cherry or raspberry. Use this pairing as inspiration and try the licorice stick with vodkas flavored with those fruits as well.

How Strong Is a Licorice Stick Cocktail?

Sambuca is bottled at a minimum of 76 proof, though many brands are stronger than that. Taking the average of 80-proof and pairing it with vodka of equal strength will result in a very strong cocktail that rivals its pronounced flavor. The licorice stick's alcohol content can easily reach 35 percent ABV (70 proof), making this one of the strongest mixed drinks available.