This strawberry mocktail is made with ginger and fennel for a unique and delicious flavor profile. It’s so good whether you just want to top with sparkling water, or spike it a little bit with your favorite vodka.
A Flavorful Strawberry Mocktail
I cannot take credit for this delicious recipe, as it came from the crazy mind of my friend and bartender extraordinaire, Karen Tartt. Karen also lives in Texas and shot me an instagram message about developing migraine-friendly cocktails and mocktails one day. For those on a migraine diet (or really in general) a good mocktail is pretty difficult to come by.
Add in the extra layer of avoiding citrus and the complexity of the flavor goes down significantly. But Karen, who has vestibular migraine, saw this as a challenge. Her creative brain thinks of all these wonderful different combinations that can be combined for the perfect drink.
When my book party approached and I thought it would be a little crazy if I just had a bunch of non-migraine friendly drinks at a party celebrating a migraine diet. I asked Karen if she would be interested in helping me with it and she jumped at the chance.
Don’t you know, hardly anyone drank wine at the party – everyone wanted a craft strawberry mocktail (that many turned into cocktails!). Karen named this “Fiona Dreams in Pink” to give a little nod to our dizzy mascot from the Vestibular Disorder Association, Fiona the flamingo.
Strawberry Simple Syrup
The base of this recipe is the strawberry syrup that has a little ginger and fennel, and then you top with sparkling water. Making the strawberry simple syrup is really easy – all you need is a pot, sugar, strawberries, fresh ginger, and fennel seeds.
The strawberries get simmered with water and sugar, along with large pieces of ginger. Karen’s original recipe actually used fresh pressed ginger juice, but I don’t have a juicer at home (I know, can you believe it?). If you do, you can easily add that, however I got great ginger flavor just simmering everything together.
Once the water reduces a bit, you’ll be left with a thick syrup that coats a spoon when you stir. Over a bowl, you’ll strain out the strawberries, ginger, and fennel seeds, which get added in the last few minutes.
Strawberry Ginger Jam
Being the brave cook I am, I couldn’t help but taste the mashed up strawberries that were leftover – and they were delicious! I ended up saving the mash of my strawberries and putting it into a separate mason jar.
If you want, you can remove the chunks of ginger and toss them, the flavor will still be there. It basically makes a chunky jam that you can spread on toast.
How to Turn This Into A Cocktail
Let’s say you’re a little further along in your migraine elimination diet or are starting to re-introduce foods. One of the most well-tolerated forms of alcohol for migraine tends to be quality vodka.
A few brands we have used for this strawberry mocktail are Tito’s and Grey Goose.
Other Mocktail Ideas
Sparkling Strawberry Mocktail
For the Strawberry Ginger Simple Syrup
- 2 pounds strawberries
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 inch piece of ginger cut into chunks
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoon citric acid (optional)
For the Mocktail/Cocktail
- 1 ounce strawberry ginger syrup
- Sparkling water to top off (Topo Chico is the best)
- 1.5 ounces vodka (Optional)
- Clean and quarter strawberries, pulling aside about half a pound of the best looking berries for garnish. Bring strawberries, water, sugar, and ginger to boil in a medium saucepan. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring in the fennel seeds for the last 5 minutes
- When cool enough to handle, strain the strawberries and seeds out using the back a spoon in a wire mesh strainer or cheesecloth to squeeze the last of the juice and color out of the berries. (You can pick out the ginger chunks and use the rest for jam.)
- Combine the cooled syrup with citric acid (if you have it). Build ingredients over ice in a rocks glass or a coupe glass if you want to be fancy.
- Stir to combine ingredients and garnish with half strawberry and a flamingo pick on the rim of the glass.
- Serving information is for about 16oz or 2 cups, which would make roughly 16 cocktails. You can easily cut this recipe in half.
- Store in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.