On a balmy night this spring, we dined at Perla, a new restaurant from the owners behind one of our perennial favorites, Joseph Leonard.
While browsing the menu, one particular flavor combination used in a dessert caught our eye—fennel and grapefruit. We made a note of it, but didn’t think anything of it until we were looking for cocktail inspiration one night last week and happened to have both ingredients on hand.
After thinking about the possible pairings, we chose mezcal as a base for our drink. The smokiness from the mezcal highlighted both the sweetness of the grapefruit and the anise notes of the fennel.
To make your own Fennel Delight, muddle two or three slices of a fennel bulb with a 1/4 oz. of simple syrup and a 1/2 oz. of lime juice. Add 2 oz. of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice and 1 1/2 oz. of mezcal. Shake, strain into a coupe and garnish with a fresh fennel frond. Depending on the sweetness of your grapefruit juice, you may wish to adjust the amount of simple syrup to your personal tastes.
This discovery and subsequent creation inspired us to make more notes of interesting flavor combinations we come across while dining out. Who knows where the inspiration for our next great cocktail will come from?
– Laura and Ryan