The Sambuca-Soda Company was founded in New York City, 1872, by an immigrant from Denmark called Lukas Vilhelm Skovgaard. A shopkeeper by profession, he had immigrated two years earlier with his wife and six children. As they were still adapting to a completely new environment a bad influenza epidemic descended upon New York. At the time medical science was completely useless in containing the outbreak, let alone curing those who caught it. Many would die, including three of Skovgaard's children. His two oldest children, and his wife, also came down with the flu but survived. While they were sick Skovgaard doted on them, giving them a traditional elderberry drink from his home country. For his oldest child (his favorite) he mixed it with the popular drink of the time, sassafras. His son became enthralled with it - as the three recovered, he gave away the tincture to neighbors and fellow Danish immigrants. It didn't take long before word got out that those who drank Mr. Skovgaard's Elderberry Tonic resisted influenza better and had shorter recovery times if they fell ill. He soon was selling it by the cratefull, crafting his own recipe which included elderberry, sassafras, ginger, sugar, tonic water and the newly imported kola nut.
This was the beginning of a company that would spread into the new millennium as a commodity to transcend borders. Historians and economists would often remark on the bubbly drinks representation of New York's capitalist economic hegemony among its rivals, for it was often sold in most stores regardless of border, race or creed.