Sometimes it seems as though when spring hits, a cocktail glass turns almost immediately into a salad bowl. Greenmarket ingredients like cucumbers, green beans and ramps have all found their way into drinks lately, and more often than not they offer a refreshing, seasonal change of pace. But there’s one piece of produce getting ready to make the jump from the refrigerator to the liquor cabinet that seemingly no one saw coming: fennel.
“Fennel is readily available through early spring,” Katherine Wojcik, a mixologist with Renaissance Hotels, says, “and is a unique ingredient that adds a sweet component to food and drink.”
Wojcik plays on this with the Spring Forward, a fresh, frothy drink designed specifically to ring in the spring season.
“The absinthe brings out the characteristics of the fennel, and the egg white captures the aromas, releasing them slowly as the cocktail is enjoyed,” she says. “It is a very refreshing drink to welcome the warmer weather.”
1.5 oz. Ketel One Vodka
1 oz. Fennel Syrup*
3-4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1 Egg White (Pasteurized)
Sprig of Fennel Fronds
Combine all ingredients in a Boston shaker. Add ice, and shake vigorously 20 to 30 times to emulsify egg white and create foam. Strain into specialty coupe glass or martini glass. Garnish with a sprig of fennel.
1 Fennel Bulb, Chopped
2 Cups Sugar
3 Cups Water
Bring water to a boil. And fennel and sugar and boil for 5 to 10 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved and fennel is fork tender. Remove from heat and let sit for at least one hour. Pour in blender and pulse until much of the fennel is blended. Strain to remove fibers. Let cool and store for up to one week in the refrigerator.