This cocktail is perfectly balanced. It is sweet, tart, and slightly bitter with the lovely licorice aroma of fennel. This drink has stunned everyone I have ever made it for, even people who didn’t think they liked fennel.
About this Recipe
Shortly after the pandemic, we moved from an apartment to a house and, among many other things, grew fennel and arugula. Soon after, I came across this fantastic cocktail recipe from Maggie Hoffman for a “Gin Rocket Cocktail.” It was made from ingredients I gathered from my garden.
When social gatherings became acceptable again, I shared this drink with almost anyone who came over, trying out new variations each time. One time, to replace the arugula, I needed something bitter, and kasoori methi came to mind, which gives it a more Indian profile.
Fennel – the main ingredient. 60% of the world’s fennel is grown in India, but most often, we enjoy it as a spice from the fruit (the seeds). Here we use any combination of bulbs, fronds, or leaves.
Lemon – gives it a tart balance. Use lime if that’s what you have.
Gin – provides an herbal base.
Simple Syrup – simple syrup is easily made by melting 1 part sugar in 1 part water and allowing it to cool before use.
Kasoori Methi – dried fenugreek leaves, gives a slight bitter balance and aromatic finish.
- Herbal simple syrup. I have made this with rosemary simple syrup, sage simple syrup, and black pepper simple syrup. All were great.
- In place of kasoori methi, you can use the original recipe’s arugula version. I have also used other bitter ingredients such as endive, passion flower, or dandelion leaves.
- Try it with vodka or rum if you dislike gin.
- 2 oz gin
- 1 oz lemon juice
- ⅓ cup chopped fennel stems, fronds, or bulb
- ⅛ tsp Kasoori methi
- ¾ oz simple syrup
- Roughly chop the fennel and add it to a shake along with the Kasoori methi. Muddle until all of the fennel pieces are nicely smashed.
- Add lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin. Fill with ice. Shake for 30-45 seconds.
- Double strain through a fine mesh strainer into a coupe or cocktail glass of choice.