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Course: Drinks
Keyword: Cocktails, Drinks, Gluten-Free, I.C. Fennel Cordial, Vodka

I.C. Fennel Cordial

I.C Fennel Cordial draining through a fine-mesh sieve into a beaker.
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 1 quart
Infusing flavors into a spirit at room temperature can take weeks, which means you have to wait quite a while to discover whether you got it right.
Because we can maintain the perfect extraction temperature, an immersion circulator can shorten weeks to just 1 hour.
Try out this mouthwatering miracle with my fennel cordial, an herbal tipple that tastes kind of like licorice.
This recipe first appeared in Season 1 of Good Eats: The Return.
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  • 1 quart vodka
  • 2 cups fennel fronds, loosely packed
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 10 green cardamom pods
  • 1 whole star anise

Specialized Hardware

  • Immersion circulator
  • one-gallon zip-top freezer bag
  • coffee filter
  • Fine-mesh sieve
I.C Fennel Cordial draining through a fine-mesh sieve into a beaker.
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 1 quart

Procedure

  • Install an immersion circulator in a water bath and set it to 140ºF.
  • Place the vodka, fennel fronds, sugar, fennel seeds, cardamom seeds, green cardamom pods, and star anise in a one-gallon zip-top freezer bag (see Cook's Note). Remove as much of the air from the bag as possible then seal and submerge the bag in the bath for 1 hour (see Cook's Note).
  • Transfer the unopened bag to an ice water bath. Once cool, strain the mixture through a coffee filter set inside a sieve and discard the solids. Don't squeeze or press the solids to extract additional liquid: It will cloud the liqueur and release off flavors.
  • Chill before serving.
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