One of our favorite things about having our own garden is the chance to experiment growing different herbs and vegetables. Having an extensive herb garden also gives us the opportunity to make some really fresh and unique syrups. One of the syrups we made uses an herb that stars in Italian food, fennel, which is typically found in savory food. Fennel simple syrup has become one of our favorite flavored syrups to use in cocktails.
Fennel is a root vegetable that grows tall frilly fronds out of a green or white bulb, full of flavor. The flavor is reminiscent of licorice and anise, which works really well with acid flavors like tomatoes (hence why it is commonly found in Italian food) but it also works really well with citrus flavors, which means it can be a very versatile flavor in cocktails when it is infused into a fennel simple syrup. Fennel is also extremely aromatic, meaning that the fennel simple syrup can add a wonderful aroma to a drink.
We used fresh fennel for our syrup, choosing to use the bulb part of the fennel as we wanted a clean clear syrup. You can use the fennel fronds, but they tend to have lots of delicate green pieces that can be hard to strain out, plus they may impart a green tint to your syrup. We also loved the delicate flavor the fresh fennel imparted to the fennel simple syrup that compliments the flavors in drinks with out dominating them. We have used it in sodas and cocktails, so feel free to break out of the ordinary and try a Fennel Simple Syrup. Cheers!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- dash of salt
- 1 medium bulb fresh fennel, chopped
- Rough chop the fennel into small chunks.
- Add sugar and water to a medium sauce pan.
- Heat to a boil, making sure all sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat
- Add in fennel, allow to steep for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- Strain out fennel pieces.
- Store in a covered container in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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