I had the taste of a fennel Manhattan in my mouth, since I made the roasted fennel at the beginning of the week. I have been dreaming of it. What it would taste like? Would it have a strong licorice taste to it? Would I have more orange under tones from the orange peel I plan on putting in? Will it be sweet or sweet and bitter? How smooth will it be? And will I still have that little Kentucky hug when drinking it? All these questions have been pondering my mind. So tonight I made one. And let me tell you, it turned out pretty damn good.
So basically what you need to do is make a fennel simple syrup. It’s really basic.
1 heaping Tbsp of fennel seeds
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of water
1 part Woodford reserve or any other really good bourbon of your choice
1/3 part vermouth
2/3 part fennel simple syrup
A dash of orange bitters
A good chuck of orange peel
In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle grind up fennel seeds.
In a small sauce pot, add ground fennel, sugar and water. Bring to a boil and make sure all the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.
Once the simple syrup has cooled you can start making the cocktail.
In a cocktail shaker add ice half way up.
Pour in your 1 part bourbon, 1/3 part vermouth, 2/3 fennel simple syrup, your orange bitters. Shake until the shaker is nice and cold. Put ice in a glass (optional) and pour in the cocktail. Finish with the thick slice of orange zest.