Fennel Spring Fling

1

Fennel is one of the first vegetables to make its appearance in the garden and the green color it imparts in a simple syrup is reminiscent of fresh spring grass. Thus, the Fennel Spring Fling was created. The sweet, herbal notes in this pale green cocktail are balanced with citrus. And don’t discard the fennel that you’ve cooked in the simple syrup—the candied fennel bits that garnish the cocktail are addictive.

For the fennel simple syrup 

1 cup sugar 

1 cup water 

1 tablespoon corn syrup 

1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped

1 fennel frond, (the lacy tops, for garnish)


For the cocktail

2½ ounces of your favorite Maine gin 

1½ ounces fennel simple syrup 

1 ounce lime juice

2 dashes Angostura bitters 

Roasted candied fennel

Fennel fronds

Coupe glass (for serving) 

Lime wheel garnish

For the simple syrup

In a saucepan, add the sugar, water, and corn syrup and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add the chopped fennel and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain half the fennel from the syrup and set aside for roasting. Store the syrup along with the leftover fennel in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator. 


For the cocktail

Roast strained fennel on a sheet pan at 275° for 30 minutes, or until it reduces by about half in size and is slightly golden in spots. Dust with granulated sugar. Let cool. These don’t stay crispy too long, so use them as a garnish and enjoy the rest (they taste like candy!). 


In a cocktail shaker with ice, add the gin, fennel syrup, lime, and bitters and shake until cold. Strain into coupe glass and garnish with a lime wheel, fennel frond, and a piece of candied fennel.

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