When the weather heats up we tend to retire our scotch-laden drinks and spirit-driven libations for those with seasonal fruits, juices, and more neutral spirits (like tequila and vodka). Margaritas come to mind immediately when hosting summertime get-togethers. That being said… you should always have a few good cocktail recipes in your repertoire to rotate through for entertaining — one can only have so many margs. Meet the Grapefruit Fennel Fizz!
Don’t get me wrong I LOVE a good margarita (sans sour mix, of course), but sometimes you want something a little… different. Today’s Grapefruit Fennel Fizz will please margarita and citrus lovers alike. Fennel is an herb often reserved for roasting, soups, and citrus salads, but don’t dismiss it when it comes to garnishing your cocktails!
Believe it or not, I often take inspiration for cocktail creations and combinations from food. When I find two flavors in a dish that strike a cord with me, I will play around with them in my cocktail laboratory — *ahem* my kitchen. Often, I find that what I loved about that dish can be recreated in sipping form.
In this case, I had a grapefruit and fennel salad that I had to order twice, it was that good! I decided to play around with some fresh fennel fronds and grapefruit. The fennel is used here only as a garnish, so I felt it needed more of an herbal taste. I ground up some rosemary in my spice grinder and added it to some salt to rim the fizz, much like a margarita.
Grapefruit Fennel Fizz
- 2 oz reposado tequila
- 3 oz fresh grapefruit juice
- 2 oz club soda
- 1/2 oz honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)
- 2 dashes lime bitters (or other citrus bitters)
- rosemary salt, garnish
- fennel fronds, garnish
Begin by adding 3-4 teaspoons of rosemary to the spice grinder. Mix with 5 tablespoons kosher salt to make the rosemary salt. Take a grapefruit wedge and run it around the rim of a glass. Dip into the salt to coat the entire rim Add the tequila, grapefruit juice, honey syrup, and lime bitters to a shaker with ice. Strain into a glass and top with soda water. Garnish with fennel frond.
Repesado tequila works best here. It’s been aged in barrels a bit giving it a more mellow flavor than blanco tequila. What about gold tequila you ask? I mean, everything is better in gold, right? Nope. Put down that gold bottle! It’s just unaged blanco with caramel color and other additives. Ick.
If you love the fennel and what to experiment a bit, add some fennel to the honey syrup when you are making it for a more intense anise flavor than you would get with just the garnish.
Recipe, styling, and photography by Ashley Rose Conway for Jojotastic.
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