Opal Nera Sambuca is a "black sambuca" produced by the Francoli family of Northern Italy. They regard it as the "world's first" black sambuca and presents a jet black in the glass. It was first launched in 1989 and is an anise (black licorice) liqueur from a variety of herbs that include star anise, green anise, and lemon blended down with "pure Italian Alpine water." It is sweetened with sugar made from beets and the infused distillate rested in stainless steel for 3-4 months prior to bottling. The black color is attributed to the addition of elderberries. The name is attributed to a black opal jewel that was the betrothal gift to a seaman who was lost at sea but returned under mysterious circumstances to the Italian noblewoman who gave it to him at the bottom of a glass of shimmering black liqueur.