During a bartending gig at a restaurant, Chicago mixologist Jacyara de Oliveira took fennel scraps from the kitchen to infuse a simple syrup. Now, she uses fennel syrup to add a mild anise flavor to drinks. The syrup would also be fantastic in lemonade and hot and iced teas. Slideshow: Vodka Cocktail RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Cocktails 2015
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.