The innovative professional bartender is always on a quest to incorporate new flavors into drinks, either by developing new drink choices or by putting a refreshing spin on a time-honored classic. Figs are a great way to celebrate the arrival of fall, with their honey-sweet flavors and complex mouth appeal. In cocktails, figs can open new opportunities for the bartending expert, allowing him or her to truly show mastery behind the bar.
The Delicious Fig
Many people think of the fig as a late-spring or early summer fruit, with the fig tree crop ripening just in time for hot weather. In many parts of the country, fig trees may produce a second harvest, and it is this second season that is so savored by fig lovers. Fall fruits tend to be smaller and sweeter, with more concentrated flavors that really stand out in a handmade cocktail. Professional bartending services like The Bartender Company prepare handmade syrups using fresh figs and other seasonal fruits, capturing the essence of these ingredients for use at intimate parties and corporate events.
Figs stand out nicely when paired with darker spirits like rum or bourbon, or can be combined with a spicy summer favorite like aged tequila. Add a few other ingredients for extra complexity and you will make a fig lover out of anyone lucky enough to try your cocktail.
Two Fig Cocktail Favorites
Ready to try figs as a delicious and unique ingredient in your next cocktail? Here are two flavorful choices to experiment with, each containing fig spread or prepared fig preserves. Most well-stocked gourmet grocery stores will carry both.
Fig & Bourbon Fizz
- 1.5 oz. bourbon
- 4 oz. vanilla cream soda
- 1 oz. fig preserves or homemade fig spread
Combine the ingredients with ice and stir gently until thoroughly combined, carefully preserving the effervescence of the cream soda. Pour into serving glasses and enjoy. The fig spread will not dissolve completely, rewarding the cocktail drinker with a sweet surprise at the bottom of the glass.
The Fall & Summer
Celebrate the two seasons of fresh figs by combining summery and autumnal flavors into the same delicious cocktail. Figs contrast nicely against citrus juices and aromatic herbs, creating a cocktail that is sure to become an instant favorite.
- 1.5 oz. aged tequila (reposado or anejo)
- ½ oz. fig preserves or fig spread
- ½ oz. ginger syrup (prepared beforehand)
- ½ oz. orange juice (can substitute other citrus juices as desired)
- 1 small sprig fresh rosemary for garnish
To make the ginger syrup, combine ½ cup of water, fresh grated ginger and one cup of sugar into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then strain into a glass storage vessel until use.
To make the cocktail, combine the orange juice, tequila, and fig preserves into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain and pour over fresh ice in a rocks or highball glass. Garnish with the rosemary sprig.