Recipe: Fennel-Apple Bellinis

Recipe: Fennel-Apple Bellinis

Leah Koenig
Dec 7, 2017
(Image credit: Jean Schwarzwalder)

Bubbly Champagne makes the perfect, effervescent pairing for potato latkes and other fried foods served on Hanukkah. Here, apple cider enhanced with homemade fennel seed syrup and offset with a splash of lemon juice puts a cozy, winter-friendly spin on a classic Champagne bellini.

(Image credit: Jean Schwarzwalder)

The fennel syrup is simple to prepare and keeps well in the fridge, making it the perfect prep-ahead base for holiday cocktails. On the night of the party, just pour, swizzle, and serve to keep guests' glasses clinking.

Fennel-Apple Bellinis

Serves 6 to 8

  • For the syrup:
  • 2 tablespoons

    fennel seeds

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 cup


  • For each cocktail:
  • 2 tablespoons

    fennel syrup, chilled

  • 1/3 cup

    apple cider or unfiltered apple juice, chilled

  • 1 tablespoon

    freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Champagne or dry sparkling white wine, chilled

Make the fennel syrup: Coarsely grind the fennel seeds in a spice grinder. Place in a small saucepan and add the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes.

Pour the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer set over a small bowl and let cool until room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the cocktail: For each cocktail, place the fennel syrup, apple cider, and lemon juice in a tall Champagne flute and stir to combine. Top with Champagne.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The syrup can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

Reprinted with permission from Little Book of Jewish Appetizers by Leah Koenig, copyright (c) 2017. Published by Chronicle Books.

Find Leah's Book:

Little Book of Jewish Appetizers by Leah Koenig

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