Fennel Cocktails


Fennel gives cocktails a hint of licorice flavor. But it’s also one of those ingredients that brings the fresh farmers market feel to your glass. Here are a few fennel cocktails to try!

Cat’s Pajamas ~ Fennel-infused honey is the star of this gin and cucumber cocktail inspired by the classic Bee’s Knees cocktail.

Seven Foals Cocktail ~ This aquavit-based citrus cocktail gets creative with anise, fennel, and caraway flavors.

Rhubarb-Fennel Cocktail ~ The grassy, tart flavor of rhubarb combines with a fennel-infused vodka for a refreshing spring drink.

Fennel Fizz ~ A savory cocktail made with Green Chartreuse gets an assist from fennel and an herbal lemon syrup.

Fennel Lemon Crunch ~ Fennel syrup and basil make a great team in this vodka cocktail. (Although I’m not sure what the “crunch” refers to …)

The Tahona Society Inspires a True Connection to Tequila


When you’re passionate about tequila, celebrating the spirit and studying it go hand in hand. That’s why Olmeca Altos founders Henry Besant and Dré Masso created the Tahona Society with master distiller Jesus Hernandez in 2010. Knowing more about the ancient art and culture of tequila gives bartenders a deeper love and respect for the spirit they can pass on to guests.

Tales of the Cocktail asked me to find out more about the Tahona Society and tequila education for bartenders.

DIY Swedish Punsch


Because of its funky spiced flavor, you’ll see a lot of pre-Prohibition cocktails that call for Swedish Punsch. But it’s also great in tiki drinks and as the base for a twist on Hot Buttered Rum. It can be hard to find, but you can make your own!

Swedish Punsch
1 lemon, sliced thin and seeded
1 clove
1 cardamom pod, crushed<
1 cup cachaça
1 Darjeeling (or similar) tea bag
1/2 cup hot water
2/3 cup sugar

Combine lemon, clove and crushed cardamom pod in a glass jar and add the cachaça. Let rest for 24 hours. Steep the tea bag in the hot water for 5 to 7 minutes, remove the bag and add sugar to make it into a syrup. Let it cool.

Fine-strain the infused cachaça mixture and then mix the infusion with the tea syrup. Let the mixture rest overnight.

The recipe I created and posted here was first published on Serious Eats in my DIY vs. Buy column.

Why Your Bar Needs Better Non-Alcoholic Drinks


Your bar may feature a dozen rare bourbons and a housemade tonic clarified in a centrifuge. But if the non-alcoholic options boil down to seltzer and a virgin Rum & Coke, there’s still room to up your game. Bartenders can use the creativity and dedication to craft that makes for a good cocktail program to develop alcohol-free drinks that expand a bar’s appeal.

For Tales of the Cocktail, I talked to some bartenders about how (and why) bars should make good non-alcoholic drinks.