When fall rolls around, it’s time for figs. The sweet tree fruits are a great addition to charcuterie boards and salads, and they can be cooked, eaten raw or made into jams. But don’t overlook their application in cocktails. Pittsburgh bartender Kimber Weissert sure doesn’t.
Her Figgly Wiggly cocktail uses figs two ways—as a syrup and again as a garnish. She pairs those figs with Woodford Reserve Double Oaked bourbon, which brings plenty of dry wood and toasted spice notes alongside vanilla and caramel sweetness. The whiskey is complemented by Sorel, a deep-red liqueur made with hibiscus, cloves, cassia and ginger, which lends tart fruit and spice to the cocktail. Fig syrup is the sweetener, and sassafras and sorghum bitters add earthy complexity.
The DIY fig syrup is essentially a simple syrup infused with figs, and it’s easy to make at home. Lastly, the bruleed fig garnish can be accomplished by soaking figs in bourbon, coating them in sugar and then crystalizing the sugar with a torch. When you’re done, you will have achieved two victories: a delicious drink and a tasty snack.
2 ounces Woodford Reserve Double Oaked bourbon
1/4 ounce Sorel liqueur
1/4 ounce Calimyrna fig syrup*
4 dashes Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Sassafras & Sorghum bitters
Garnish: bruleed fig**
Add the bourbon, Sorel, fig syrup and bitters into a mixing glass with ice, and stir until well-chilled
Double-strain into a stemmed Old Fashioned glass over one large spherical ice cube, and garnish with bruleed figs.
*Calimyrna fig syrup: Add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add 1/2 cup dried and diced Calimyrna figs, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Cool and strain.
**Bruleed fig: Soak Calimyrna and black mission figs in Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select bourbon for 10 to 14 hours. Cut the figs in half, cover the cut side with demerara sugar, and brulee with a torch.