Pleasantly bitter, herb-infused Campari is a bracing aperitif, especially when it's blended with a little sparkling wine as it is here. Neal Bodenheimer, the owner of Cure in New Orleans, loves how the vivid-red Italian spirit tastes with fennel. "This is a perfect way to use up any leftover fennel fronds from the kitchen," he says.
- Handful of fennel fronds, plus 1 small sprig for garnish
- 3 lemon wheels
- 2 ounces dry sparkling wine
- 3/4 ounce Campari
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup (see Note)
- One 2-inch-long strip of lemon peel
Adapted from foodandwine.com
In a cocktail shaker, combine the fennel fronds with the lemon wheels, sparkling wine, Campari and simple syrup. Muddle 20 times. Add ice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Squeeze the lemon peel over the drink and add it to the glass. Garnish with the fennel sprig and serve.
To make simple syrup, simmer 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Let the syrup cool. The simple syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.