Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Cognac & Other Brandy Cocktails

Figgy Smalls

Figgy Smalls cocktail
Image: / Tim Nusog

For this riff on a Sidecar, Courtney Tietze, the director of beverages for B on Top in New York City, macerates dehydrated black mission figs in a bottle of cognac for two days until the spirit is sweeter and has a definitive figgy flavor. After double-straining out the figs and seeds, he shakes it with Grand Marnier, sugar and lemon and orange juices and serves it strained in a vanilla-sugar-rimmed cocktail glass, garnished with a sage leaf. “The cognac allows for a smooth finish that complements and helps highlight its orange flavor as well as subtly showcasing the flavor of the oak barrels,” he says.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “What the #$@! Do I Do with This? Grand Marnier: What It Is and How to Use It.”


  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 ounces black-fig-infused cognac*
  • 3/4 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • Garnish: vanilla sugar**
  • Garnish: 1 sage leaf


  1. Rub the outside rim of a cocktail glass with the lemon wedge, coat with the vanilla sugar and set aside.

  2. Add the cognac, Grand Marnier, syrup and juices into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  3. Double-strain into the prepared glass.

  4. Garnish with a sage leaf.

*Black-fig-infused cognac: Fill a large container with 375 mL cognac and 4 cups dried figs. Let sit for a few days, shaking it periodically. Strain out solids. 

**Vanilla sugar: Put 1 cup sugar and 1 vanilla bean (cut open) in a container and shake to combine. Store up to a month.