Fennel Fizz I like alliteration, especially when it’s so delicious.
Fennel has a natural “fizz” that makes the tongue tingle (there I go again). It’s part of why I like this Fennel Fizz recipe. That tingle you feel comes from anise and its menthol undertones. Long appreciated by the ancients for its breath-freshening qualities, menthol causes a cool mouth sensation. This is purely psychological, but in my opinion, opens the palate for all the subtle flavors that fennel and its fizz have to offer. Notice that I’ve included enough sage to keep this cocktail from feeling like an après ski adventure. The savory notes in sage keep this cocktail in balance.
There’s that word. Savory. In case you haven’t guessed this Fennel Fizz is a savory cocktail from my book of the same name, Savory Cocktails. The book came out in September of last year, but I was reminded of this drink once again because of the time of year. It may still be February, but spring is beginning to be sprung here.
I live in Los Angeles, in the Hollywood Hills area. My street backs up to some of the L.A. County conservancy property, which bleeds into Lake Hollywood and the land owned by the Department of Water and Power, and culminates in 4200 acres of Griffith Park. That is a lot of wildland in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world.
Which means I have eagles, deer, rabbit, hawks, bobcats, coyote, and a mountain lion with the romantic name of p‑22 as neighbors.
It also means easy access to hiking trails and the peace and solitude that comes from being in nature.
But whenever I hike these hills I find I have an annoying little habit. I am constantly scanning the trails for edibles. I have some tried and true areas where I collect citrus, figs, herbs, cactus fruit, blackberries, and wild greens. But you never know when that lone indigenous Blue Elderberry tree will reveal it’s hiding place. So it’s best to keep your eyes peeled.
February is the beginning of the best foraging of the year. I look forward to the tiny green, feathery fronds of fennel (notice the alliteration?) as they begin their impossible push from the rocky slate and granite into the bright blue light of wintertime Los Angeles. How can I not pluck a few fronds and make a delightful Fennel Fizz? GREG