This is a great way to extend the flavor of fennel and also an answer to “what am I going to do with all these fennel fronds?” Fennel syrup, with just star anise, tastes strongly like a yummy licorice soda with a very strong anise flavor. Fennel syrup, with star anise, cinnamon, orange zest, and ginger, tastes a bit more mellow and pairs very nicely with cucumber and mint for a very close version of nonalcoholic Pimm’s Cup.
Fennel Syrup (from Gluten-Free Girl)
- 3 cups chopped fennel fronds
- 1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
- 1 star anise
- 2-inch piece of ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- zest of one orange
- Put fronds in a large bowl and pour sugar on top. Mix the fronds and sugar and make sure most of the fronds are covered in sugar (it is okay to have bits of green pieces not entirely covered).
- Cover and leave alone overnight, or 2 nights (in my case, leave overnight at room temperature and next day, mix again and cover and put in refrigerator for another night).
- When ready, pour in enough water to cover the sugar mixture and let sit for one hour.
- Pour all into a pot, and add star anise and other optional ingredients. Boil at a med-high heat, then turn down to a simmer for about 15-35 minutes until thick. (It never really got thick, but you could tell it was sweet- try tasting a bit of it).
- Strain using a colander or cheesecloth and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate and use it in drinks.
- mix with fizzy water
- muddle lemon cucumber and mint, add syrup, ice, and fizzy water
- fizzy water and orange juice