The Archduke © Brent Herrig
Lightly sweet and fresh, fennel is the perfect bridge from winter to spring. Like a lot of chefs, many cocktail experts are fans of both fennel bulbs and the plant’s herbaceous fronds. At New York City’s The Third Man—Edi & The Wolf’s little, boozier sister—Austrian chef-partner Edi Frauneder uses fresh baby fennel juice in the Archduke. Frauneder first dehydrates fennel fronds with a quick blast of liquid nitrogen, then adds ice, Laird’s Apple Brandy, bittersweet Cynar, fresh fennel juice made from the delicate bulb and Peychaud’s bitters. He stirs the anise-scented cocktail, then strains it into a rocks glass with one large, hand-cut ice cube and garnishes it with a fresh fennel frond. Here, more fennel drinks that offer a taste of spring.
Hi Lo BBQ; San Francisco
This brand-new smokehouse tapped the Goose and Gander’s Scott Beattie to design its cocktail list, which has two fennel-inflected drinks. The seasonal Savory Collins is made with local Blade gin, lemon juice, muddled tarragon and Beattie’s “Ultimate Pickling Liquid,” a lightly sweet, white wine vinegar-base, which he uses to pickle the drink’s fresh fennel garnish. The cocktail is finished with a refreshing hit of soda water and served over ice. Beattie’s Fennel Old Fashioned is made with fennel-seed-and-star-anise syrup, Eagle Rare 10-Year bourbon and orange bitters—a combination inspired by flavors in the restaurant’s barbecue dishes.