A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Flaming Sambuca

Lately we've been enjoying Sambuca after dinner, in the traditional Italian manner with three roasted coffee beans floating in it (for health, happiness and prosperity). Sambuca is an Italian liqueur flavored with green anise, star anise and elder. Romana Sambuca is similar in flavor to anisette, but at 42 proof, more alcoholic and less sweet. Like absinthe, pastis, ouzo and other anise-flavored spirits, it turns milky white when water or ice is added to it. (The cloudy appearance is the result of all those essential oils emulsifying.)

A less-traditional manner of serving Sambuca is flaming. Cinnamon or nutmeg sprinkled on top before ignition will create sparks--a "comet tail." In certain company, it's cool to place your hand over the glass until the flame inside creates a vacuum, then inhale the fumes. But not in our crowd.