Anisette Cocktail Recipe | Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Meet the semi-secret cocktail creator at Franny's

Franny′s pizzeria in Prospect Heights is famous for its ethereal Neapolitan pies, which chef-owner Andrew Feinberg coaxes from the parlor′s wood-burning brick oven. But those who head straight for the wine and beer list are missing out on one of the place′s best-kept secrets: the outstanding cocktails courtesy of Francine Stephens—Feinberg′s wife and restaurant's namesake.

Like the food, Stephens′s simple drinks focus on house-made ingredients—a cherry-infused grappa is on hand right now—and seasonal flavors supported by local produce. (In summer, martinis get tomato water; in winter, blood oranges are paired with Carpano Antica vermouth.)

At home, make her Anisette, a licorice-y fall number and appetite-inducing aperitif. When the first frost wipes out the mint crop, Stephens says, substitute plain simple syrup and garnish the drink with a few fennel fronds.

The Anisette

Makes 1 drink


2½ ounces gin

3/4 ounce anisette (preferably Meletti brand)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/8 teaspoon mint simple syrup (recipe follows)

Fill a pint glass with ice. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Mint Simple Syrup

In a saucepan, bring 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a low boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour the hot syrup over a cup of clean, dry mint leaves in a heatproof container. Let steep overnight, refrigerated, then strain out the mint leaves. Refrigerate the leftover syrup for up to 2 weeks.

Franny's, 295 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn; 718-230-0221 or