Skip to main content

Let's talk about: fennel

A decade or so ago, I was jealous about bartenders in the US and a bit less to them in the UK. Germany wasn't in this time well served with new products for the bar.

Then I came to Dubai - and learned, that it wasn't that bad in Germany.
Even today, there are a lot of limitations, when it comes to availabilities of products in the UAE.

But on the other hands, I have learned a lot: limitations are fueling your imagination and creativity and if I would have stayed in Germany, I don't think, that I would have become the same bar-person, I am today...

There are a lot of ingredients in the kitchen, we usually oversee. One of them I would like to play around today: fennel.

Fennel seeds to be exact. Sure, you could mess around with the fennel bulb - juice it [after that you might want to agar-agar clarify it...] - but spices are so much easier to work with - and sometimes the result is even better.

This is what google has to say about it:

  1. Fennel
    Plant
  2. Fennel is a flowering plant species in the celery family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae. It is the sole species in the genus Foeniculum. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. Wikipedia
  3. Nutrition Facts
    Fennel
    Amount Per 1 cup, sliced (87 g)
    Calories 27
  4. % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 0.2 g0%
    Cholesterol 0 mg0%
    Sodium 45 mg1%
    Potassium 360 mg10%
    Total Carbohydrate 6 g2%
    Dietary fiber 2.7 g10%
    Protein 1.1 g2%
    Vitamin A2%Vitamin C17%
    Calcium4%Iron3%
    Vitamin D0%Vitamin B-60%
    Vitamin B-120%Magnesium3%
    *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
    To be honest, I have no clue, what I haven't messed around fennel seeds much earlier. It just didn't came to my mind.

    What I did today was making a Fennel & Celery Seed Soda. 
    The soda was really focussed on fennel - and the next time, I will definitely leave the celery seeds completely out of it.

    I used two tea spoons of fennel seeds [and a pinch of celery seeds] and crushed them between my fingers [next time I will use a spice mill; it is quite uncomfortable and the seeds are quite pointy]. I put them into a cup and added boiling water over it, covered it and let it cool down entirely.
    Then I fine strained it [I used my Büchner funnel set up - which is really fast], added 120 g of white sugar and dissolved the sugar [stick blender]. I added this syrup to my soda plus, added a pinch of salt and filled up the container with a few ice cubes and ca. 1l of water [everything supposed to be 1200 ml/g].

    Charged it with two CO2 bulbs and shook it. Depressurized it after CO2 saturation time and just added citric acid water until it had the right acidity. Yummy.

    Now this soda is definitely great on its own! It is a grown up soda, natural but great flavor - a bit like an alcoholfree pastis. The fennel lends this drink a very bright aroma, fennel is so much brighter than its relative anise it is just really nice and refreshing!
    A bit gin is though what the soda really needs. I only had the super-savory GinMare and while I think it tasted good, I thought a more floral gin will taste far better. 
    It was between a pastis and soda and something with akvavit... the gin gave it a very complex flavor and the anise-like botanicals really shined.

    I really like this drink, though am not sure, if I rather would opt to make a syrup [without citric acid, dilution and C02]. Then I would make an awesome Tom Collins out of it and the lemon would give a bit more freshness and "sunniness" to it. For sure I will try.

    For now, you really should start to try out fennel. It is extremely easy to work with, very inexpensive and delivers amazing aromas, which you could really need in mixology!



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to use citric acid - and why you might not want to use it anyway!

To be honest, I shied away of this topic, because I think, people can misinterpret this - big time. I don't want to be part of the problem - I want to be part of the solution!  But when Chris, over at A Bar Above  discussed this subject- I literally could not resist to join into "the discussion". Here is the video: I - however take a bit slower approach than Chris. What is citric acid? Chemical Compound Citric acid is a weak organic acid with the formula C6H8O7. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks. Wikipedia Formula: C6H8O7 Molar Mass: 192.124 g/mol Melting Point: 153C Density: 1.66 g/cm3 Boiling point: 175C Soluble in: Water Why is it controversial? In my "mixology world" it is controversial, as citric acid is the stuff, which makes the nightmarish sour mix [ preferably in powder form ] sour. Yeah - citric acid is the main ingredient in one of the most

"Monin Rocks!" - Really?

R ussell S anchez MONIN UAE MONIN Rocks @ HARD ROCK CAFE Dubai  — with   Rhiandro Gardiner  and Louie Aquias  at  Hard Rock Cafe . I have seen this on my Facebook timeline. And well... I wanted to write about Monin since quite a long time, but haven't. However this message was a catalyst, to speak up. It is already a couple of months ago, that I routinely checked the ingredient list of a Monin bottle. ...and was shocked.... Point is, that I have always defended Monin against my US colleagues as decent brand. At least with the products they offered here in the Middle East and in Europe; they came from their factory in France. Most of the ingredients [except lets say in Blue Curacao syrup] were natural. Long time ago, somebody from Monin explained, that this is due to the quite strict regulations in France for syrup - there it is a family culture to drink syrup sweetened water/seltzer. And off course especially for the k

What is the best cranberry juice in the bar?

A good friend of me "whatsapp'ed" me today and asked for my expertise: "What is the best cranberry juice?" I would loved to just let him know the brand - however it is not that easy. What do we understand of cranberry juice? One of the biggest [maybe the  biggest producer] of cranberry products is Ocean Spray. And: it is well regarded. Problem is: it is not a juice! Wait - what? Ocean Spray doesn't produce a juice - they produce a juice cocktail - which translates into a lot of water, a lot of sugar, some taste-balancers as citric acid [nothing against this really] and a minuscule portion of juice - usually around 3%. Yes they have something which is called 100% juice. Which is on one hand true, on the other the biggest deception ever. Because you don't get 100% cranberry - you get a mixture of juices of concentrate - most of the time apple and white grape and a bit of cranberry. There are also some other brands around, which might feature a h