Finocchietto liqueur: We make no secret of being in love with the beautiful commune di Agerola and not just because it was here that we tasted the best ever finocchietto liqueur. Finocchietto liqueur is made from the wild fennel flowers found growing around the coastline.Agerola is a town that sits, mostly unnotitced, above the towns of Positano and Amalfi. The next time you are travelling the Amalfi coast, please go and spend some time there. From Agerola you can walk the Path of the Gods and see wild fennel, rosemary, thyme and all sorts of other goodies growing along the trails there. The wild fennel is a wild plant, typical of the Mediterranean and is recognizable for its stems, green and branched, which can reach up to two meters in height. During the summer, the stems give life to yellow flowers that, with the approach of the autumn, turn into grey fruits commonly called ‘seeds’. In the kitchen, the seeds are widely used as a flavouring for many dishes and for finocchietto.
Fennel is highly regarded as a vegetable in Italy and pretty much the whole of the plant is used. It is good for the digestion and is loaded with an almost limitless list of health benefits. At the end of a large meal in Italy, you can be expected to be offered a glass of pale yellow liquore di finocchietto which is a liqueur made in much the same way as limoncello, using the seeds and leaves of wild fennel. It is also served as an aperitif. Finocchietto is really not that difficult to prepare yourself and just requires a little patience.
- 1 liter of 95 ° alcohol
- 1 liter of water
- 850 grams of white sugar
- 1 bunch of wild fennel (about 50-60 flowers)
- 1 airtight (preferably glass) container
- Wash the stems, flowers and leaves of your fennel and dry before lightly grinding.
- Then place the crushed stems, leaves and seeds in the airtight container and add the alcohol.
- Close the container and allow everything to marinate for 30 days and 30 nights in a cool, dark area. Give it a light shake every day.
- After a month, prepare a simple syrup by dissolving the sugar and water and allowing it to boil for 5 minutes.
- Leave the syrup to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, filter the fennel from the alcohol. You can use a coffee filter for this and you may need to do it a few times until all the residue is removed.
- When cool, stir the syrup into the alcohol then decant into bottles and seal.
- Finally, store in the freezer for another 30 days and serve into chilled glasses and only serve CHILLED. Yes, that part is extremely important.
- Drink sparingly.