Last Sunday, we attended the San Francisco street food festival. Ever since we moved, I've been wanting to attend the festival and taste all the delicious things that people are cooking up because that is what makes this city such an amazing food destination. And to be honest, we weren't disappointed. We tried empanadas, tacos, bahn mis, ice creams etc. Every thing had some sort of innovative flavor or idea combined into a traditional dish.
When Renée and Sherrie asked me to join their blogger summer drink special, I wasn’t sure if I should. You see, I have never, ever in the past four years created a cocktail for this blog. It made me nervous and after I said yes to the girls, I kept telling myself, “Why the heck did you say yes?” Since I rarely make my own cocktails at home, I wasn't sure how this would pan out. But now, after going through this fun experience, I’m glad I said yes and my blog is no longer a cocktail virgin (though my dear friend Meg shared a cranberry moscow mule with you in December when I went to India).
Fig and bourbon are meant to be together. In an ideal world, every fig tree should produce a bottle of bourbon with every fig it grows. Maybe those travel size alcohol minis would work? And so I've combined my love for figs and bourbon in a glass or two for this drink recipe roundup.
It's been terribly hot for the past few weeks (the mercury hit the triple digits) and fortunately, the cocktail experimentation in the kitchen turned out to be the perfect remedy to battle the weather. An ice cold glass of this fruity bourbon drink that's lightly sweetened with honey and infused with fresh mint and lime. And of course if you like it a little more sweet or a little more boozy, adjust accordingly.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this drink;
- Use dark figs such as black mission figs or brown turkey figs. Their flavor is stronger and more robust and will work really well in this cocktail.
- Instead of water, you can also make the drink a little fizzier by replacing it with sparkling water.
- The more overripe your figs, the sweeter and stronger the flavor. Fresh limes and mint leaves make a huge difference in the drink.
- I like to make the fig-bourbon mix ahead of time but just a word of caution, the longer you keep it in the alcohol (don't go over more than 2 days) the boozier the fruit pulp.
fig and bourbon summer smash
yields: around 6 servings
6 to 8 overripe fresh figs, stalks trimmed
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups chilled water
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
12 fresh mint leaves, julienned
1. Place the figs in a 1 liter mason jar or a jar wide enough to allow the figs to be smashed. Pour the bourbon over the figs and smash the fruit using a muddler. Pour honey into the jar and seal airtight with a lid. Shake aggressively and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
2. Just before serving, shake the jar. Remove 1/4 cup of the fig mixture add 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 mint leaves. Muddle the mint leaves in the glass using a muddler, taste and adjust sweetness if necessary and then add a few ice cubes. Serve ice cold and immediately.
Note: If you like this drink stronger, you can add a little more bourbon to it before adding the ice cubes.