Lovage and fennel seed cordial

Lovage and fennel seed cordial

By
From
Spring
Makes
750 ml
Photographer
Andy Sewell

The idea for this cordial came from Will, a brilliant young cook who works for me, from the time he spent at Chez Panisse. After service one warm evening, the staff poured a hot sugar syrup over lovage and drank it there and then. The concept intrigued me! The fresh, intensely peppery flavour of lovage, so reminiscent of celery, served in the form of a drink… what could that possibly taste like? I plucked some sprigs from a pot in the garden and tried it for myself, there and then. I was surprised and pleased by the taste. I have since added crushed fennel seeds, which give the final taste a little body and depth.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
225g golden caster sugar
500ml water
3-4 lovage sprigs
1 teaspoon fennel seeds

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
crushed ice
1/2 lime, juiced
sparkling water

Method

  1. To make the sugar syrup, put the sugar and water into a heavy-based pan and place over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring once or twice to help dissolve the sugar. When it comes to the boil, turn down the heat slightly and simmer for 5–10 minutes until the syrup thickens slightly and becomes viscous. Remove from the heat.
  2. Place the lovage sprigs in a bowl and pour over the warm sugar syrup. Crush the fennel seeds coarsely, using a pestle and mortar, then add to the bowl. Leave to infuse and cool.
  3. You can either serve the cordial straight away or strain it into a sterilised jar, seal and refrigerate. It will keep happily in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
  4. To serve, put plenty of crushed ice into a jug or directly into glasses. Pour on the cordial until about three-quarters full (add as much or as little cordial as you like – according to preference). Add the lime juice and top up with sparkling water to taste. Stir well and serve.
Tags:
Skye Gyngell
seasonal
Spring
London
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