The Lombardi: An Italian Mocktail


There are days when you want a cocktail [they end in y], and other days when you need a break from The Sauce [the day after my birthday].

But what if you still want the ritual of making and sipping a refreshing beverage?

Enter the Mocktail, which autocorrect always wants to correct to cocktail. It knows me better than I think.


  • 1/2 oz toasted fennel-syrup (recipe follows)

  • 1/2 oz orgeat (recipe follows)

  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice (ALWAYS fresh squeezed, we’re not cromags)

  • 6 oz club soda

  • fennel frond for garnish


Build in a Collins glass (the tall ones) with ice and mix gently. Gently is the key word here. Don’t scare the bubbles away! I find that pushing the ice down over and over is better at mixing everything than stirring.

Toasted Fennel Simple Syrup

  • 150g granulated sugar

  • 150g water

  • 15g fennel seeds

Add the fennel seeds to a pan and set over medium-low heat. The pan should be large enough that the fennel seeds are in one layer. Toast the fennel seeds until they turn a medium brown. Gently stir or toss the seeds to prevent them from burning. This should take about 5 minutes, but use your nose. Do they smell toasted?


(based on The Aviary’s orgeat recipe*)

  • 100g blanched sliced almonds

  • 250g water

  • 250g sugar

  • 1.5 kosher salt

  • 10g orange peel, pith removed

Toast Almonds
Toast almonds in a 350˚F oven until toasted, stirring once or twice to prevent burning. It should take about 15 minutes, but use your nose. Do they smell toasted?

Make Simple Syrup
Add water, sugar, almonds, and salt to a small pan set over medium heat. Remove from heat once it boils. Blend with an immersion blender.

Add orange peels, let cool to room temperature, then steep in fridge for 24 hours.

*The Aviary Cocktail Book is one of the most beautiful cookbooks I’ve ever seen. The photography is more art than filler photos. This would make a PERFECT gift for anyone in your life who likes cocktails.


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