How to Make It
In a cocktail shaker, muddle 2 of the cilantro sprigs with the Fennel Syrup, then add the brandy, lime juice and Chile Cointreau. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well. Fine-strain (p. 27) into a chilled, ice-filled collins glass. Stir in the pilsner and garnish with the lime wheel and remaining cilantro sprig.
Fennel Syrup: In a saucepan, boil 4 ounces of water. Remove from the heat, add 1/2 cup cubed fennel (1/2-inch pieces cut from 1/2 small bulb) and let steep for 6 minutes. Remove and discard the fennel. Add 1/2 cup sugar to the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until dissolved. Remove from the heat, let cool and transfer the syrup to a jar. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 6 ounces.
Chile Cointreau: In a liquid measuring cup, combine 3 diced unseeded Thai bird chiles with 8 1/2 ounces Cointreau and let stand for 5 minutes. Taste the mixture; when sufficiently spicy, strain the infused Cointreau into a jar and refrigerate for up to 1 month. Makes about 8 ounces.