An elegant and feminine fig cocktail made with muddled fresh figs, a fig leaf simple syrup, lime juice and rum is the loveliest libation to sip on come fall.
Who else is needing a pretty cocktail today??
I actually dreamt up the idea for this fig cocktail while reading a food magazine on a plane a year or so ago. It was either Food & Wine or Bon Appetit, I can’t exactly recall. The story called for various ways of using plant leaves in cooking, and after reading it I promptly added “fig leaf cocktail” to a note I keep in my iphone titled, “Blog Recipes to Make”. My not yet fully formed idea was to use the fig leaves to create a botanical simple syrup to use in a cocktail.
Of course, I had to wait until the next fig season rolled around in order to use fresh figs in the drink, and then I had the added task of finding someone with a fig tree who would be so kind as to let me pluck a few leaves from it.
As luck would have it, my lovely neighbor (whose house sits along the path of my neighborhood walk) allowed me to pick some beautiful fig leaves from her tree. As she only had a few lone figs left I decided to leave them and purchased fresh tiger stripe figs from the store.
A DAIQUIRI-ESQUE FIG COCKTAIL:
The base of this cocktail comes in the form of a couple of fresh figs muddled inside a cocktail shaker, which gives this drink its pretty pink hue. Additionally a splash of fig leaf simple syrup both sweetens the cocktail and lends a botanical note that very much reminds me of tea. It’s a lovely touch.
The rest of the ingredients are modeled after a classic daiquiri. White rum, lime juice and ice are also added to the shaker, then shaken vigorously and strained into a coupe glass. I recommend using a fine mesh strainer rather than the cocktail strainer if you’re looking to limit the amount of fig seeds that end up in your cocktail.
How to make fig leaf simple syrup
First, make sure your fig leaves are clean by giving them a good rinse before using. Then add 1 part sugar and 2 parts water water to a saucepan along with the fig leaves. Usually simple syrup is made with equal parts sugar and water, but I increased the water measurement in order to submerge the leaves in the pot, and didn’t feel the need to add more sugar; the syrup will still be sweet enough to sweeten the cocktail.
Then just simmer away until the sugar dissolves. After that, remove from heat and let the fig leaves steep in the mixture as it cools off. When the simple syrup is cool you can discard the leaves and it’s ready to be used for cocktails or anything else you might want to use it for.
Variations on this fig cocktail:
- If you don’t have access to fresh fig leaves, a regular or vanilla simple syrup would also be lovely here.
- When fresh figs aren’t in season, fig jam will stand in nicely.
- If you don’t like rum, try vodka instead. Or, if mocktails are more your kind of thing, I’ve been using Seedlip’s non-alcoholic botanical blends for mocktails with great success!
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Fig Cocktail: Fig Daiquiri with Fig Leaf Simple Syrup
For the fig leaf simple syrup:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 fresh fig leaves rinsed
For the fig cocktail:
- 2 fresh figs
- 2 ounces light rum
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce fig leaf simple syrup
To make the simple syrup, combine sugar, water and fig leaves in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until cool. Discard fig leaves and transfer to a small glass container.
In a cocktail shaker, muddle figs. Add ice, rum, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake vigorously, then strain into a cocktail glass.