Time to pick up a drink and toast to the beginning of summer. Of course, in the Pacific NW, we are lucky if we can break 70, but if the sun is out, people are smiling. Friday evening when I came home from work, it felt like January – exactly the reason why my husband and I call this month Junuary. I hear the rest of the country is in a huge hot spell…not us. On the bright side though, no need for air-conditioners or sprinklers – aren’t we lucky.
I am obsessed with fennel - if you are a long-time reader, you will remember some of my other posts on the wonderful topic. At one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle, they have taken fennel to a whole new level. One night I was there and they served fennel ice-cream with this sumptuous morsel - with some candied fennel on the side, I swear there is nothing better. Another night they served a fennel cocktail, that was also outstanding. I have been thinking about that fennel cocktail ever since…
The other week I had a bulb of fennel in the refrigerator, and no time to roast it – so I had an idea. Fennel infused vodka – I was well on my way. Once the vodka was nicely infused, it was time to decide how to prepare the cocktail. I didn’t want to do anything too crazy that would mask the taste of the fennel – so I decided to go real simple – just a little simple syrup and some lemon juice. I shook it up, and I was in love. The first night I made it, I served them in high ball glasses over ice – a nice fennel lemonade. I didn’t like though how the ice melted into the drink – so the next time I served them straight up – and that was the key. Just like a lemon drop, with a wonderful flavor of fennel. So – here’s to summer – may we have many nice sunny evenings to enjoy these!
- 2 cups vodka
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup simple syrup
- ice cubes
- lemon slices for garnish
To make the fennel infused vodka, cut up one medium fennel bulb and place in a jar. Pour vodka over the fennel and seal. Place in the refrigerator until the fennel is infused, around 3-4 days. The longer the vodka infuses, the stronger the fennel flavor.
The recipe above makes 8 drinks. To make 2 drinks, take a shaker and fill with ice cubes. Pour 1/2 cup vodka, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons simple syrup into the shaker. Shake well, and strain into two martini glasses. Garnish with lemon slices.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Fennel Lemon Drop