As promised, here is another cocktail that is perfect for entertaining. This light and refreshing fennel gin cocktail is made with a fennel-infused simple syrup, gin, lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, and bitters. Make it for a Valentine’s Day dinner, a Galentine’s Day brunch, or a fun cocktail party!
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What is a Corpse Reviver #2?
As its name implies, the Corpse Reviver cocktail was originally intended to cure hangovers.
The #2 is the most popular in the Corpse Reviver family, and it’s traditionally made with equal parts lemon juice, gin, Cointreau, and Cocchi Americano. It also features a dash of Absinthe.
As the ingredients suggest, the Corpse Reviver #2 is crisp, bright, and light. I love having one right before dinner as a way to open my appetite or when out to brunch with friends.
A Fennel Variation of a Corpse Reviver #2
The classic Corpse Reviver #2 is hard to improve on, so I just wanted to give it a slight twist to make use of one of my favorite ingredients: fennel.
If you have never cooked with fennel, you should start right now. It has a subtle anise flavor that complements citrus really well. Fennel is not only great in cocktails but also in winter salads or pickled on top of burgers and sandwiches.
For this fennel gin cocktail, I decided to gently infuse the flavor of the fennel into some simple syrup. Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water heated up together. It’s traditionally used to add sweetness to most cocktails, and you can flavor simple syrups with whatever you want.
In addition to the fennel syrup, I also decided to use Lillet Blanc, a French aperitif made with quinine, macerated fruits, and wine, instead of Cocchi Americano. I like Lillet better than Cocchi, and it tends to be easier to find.
I also omitted the Cointreau and the absinthe since I felt that these two liqueurs would overpower the subtle flavor of the fennel. Instead, I added some Peychaud bitters for a hint of bitterness and to give this fennel gin cocktail a beautiful pink hue.
How do you Double Strain a Cocktail?
Like many of the cocktails that I’ve featured in this blog, this fennel and gin cocktail needs to be double strained.
It’s important to double strain cocktails that are shaken over ice to make sure that you don’t end up with tiny pieces of ice in the finished cocktail. As they melt, they will water down your drink and alter the flavor combinations that you worked so hard to achieve.
After shaking, you put the cocktail strainer over your cocktail shaker and the sieve over the glass in which you intend to serve your drink. Then you pour the cocktail mixture through the slants int he cocktail shaker and through the sieve. That’s it! You just double strained a cocktail!
Disclaimer: I’m doing a horrible job at double straining in the picture above because I was preoccupied with the camera. I need to work on multitasking!
Fennel Gin Cocktail
For the fennel-infused simple syrup:
- 1/2 cup fennel stems roughly chopped
- 1/8 cup fennel fronds
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the cocktail:
- 3/4 oz lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 oz gin (I used The Botanist)
- 1 oz Lillet Blanc
- 1/2 oz fennel simple syrup (recipe follows)
- 1 hefty dash Peychaud's bitters
- 1 fennel frond to garnish
- At least a few hours before you intend to serve the cocktail, make the simple syrup by combining all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and place a lid on the pan. Leave to steep for 30 min.
- Let the syrup cool and strain it through a sieve. Discard the solids.
- Transfer it to a clean glass jar or bottle and store in the fridge for up to a month.
- To make the cocktail: Place a coupe glass in the freezer at least 10 min before you intend to serve the cocktail.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour the rest of the ingredients over it. Shake for 15-20 seconds.
- Double strain the cocktail into the chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a fennel frond and serve immediately.
Here are other delicious variations on classic cocktails:
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