Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Cognac & Other Brandy Cocktails

Figgy Smalls

A bright orange-red cocktail served in a coupe glass with a sugared rim and a single sage leaf as its garnish; the glass is shot from above on a white marble surface
Image: / Tim Nusog

For this riff on a Sidecar, bartender Courtney Tietze macerates dehydrated black mission figs in a bottle of cognac for two days until the spirit sweetens and has a definitive figgy flavor. After double-straining the mixture to remove 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 makes sense given the orange liqueur’s cognac base, which tends to bring a bit more dimension to cocktails than your average triple sec. If you’re a fan of a classic Sidecar, you’ll love this dressed-up variation.


  • 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 lemon and orange 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 of cognac and 4 cups dried black mission figs. Let sit for a few days, shaking 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.