'Tis the season for all things figgy. Figgy puddings, trifles, cookies and such just seem to fill the Christmas bill.
It's also the time for cocktails redolent with the spices and deep, rich flavors we associate with the season. In the spice vein, that might include cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and allspice, while in the classic holiday fruits category, raisins, figs, dates, oranges, cranberries and the like would qualify. Which brings me to this year's Dinner Plan-it holiday cocktail, the Figgy Old Fashioned.
Made with a Black Mission fig, warm spice simple syrup, bourbon (or rum perhaps for yet another, sweeter twist) and kissed with a touch of orange bitters, it's a cocktail that will have you remembering Christmases of old by a crackling fire with those you love. Cheers, friends...lots of Christmas cheer to all of you!
Figgy Old Fashioned
- 1/2 oz fig simple syrup*
- 2 dashes Regan's orange bitters
- 2 oz good bourbon - I used Bulleit or a good spiced rum like Pittsburgh's own Maggie's Farm for a sweeter cocktail
- 2 Amarena Fabri or Luxardo cherries - reserve one for garnish
- 2 strips fresh orange peel - reserve one for garnish
- 1 or 2 whole cloves for garnish
In a cocktail mixing glass, muddle one cherry and the simple syrup together. Add spiced rum and stir well. Strain into Old Fashioned glass (what else would you use?!) over a large ice cube and stir well, add the bitters, twist the peel over the surface of the drink and lightly swipe the orange side of the peel around the rim of the glass. Garnish with another cherry and a clove studded orange peel.
* Fig Simple Syrup: 1 C sugar, 1 C water, 1/2 C dried Black Mission figs - cut in halves or quarters, 3 green cardamom pods - cracked lightly, 1 cinnamon stock - 4" long, 4 whole cloves.
In a small pot, bring sugar and water to a boil and all the rest of the ingredients. Immediately reduce heat to bring the contents down to a simmer and continue simmering for 5 minutes. Let cool in pot, then strain the liquid into a small bottle. You're all ready to make cocktails now!
NOTE: Try using big, plump Medjool dates (be sure to remove the big pits in the center before adding to the pot) instead of figs if you wish...equally fabulous!