Someday, I dream of having a fig tree in the back yard. If you've never had a fresh fig, go now, quick! They are almost out of the markets, and they are delicious. I usually eat them raw, sliced in half with any kind of cheese and a glass of wine at cocktail hour. I put a recipe in my first book of them drizzled with honey, red pepper flakes, goat cheese and mint. I've mixed dried figs into a quinoa dish and caramelized them with shallots for a salad. I have even BBQed them before, but have never attempted adding them to a cocktail, and let me tell you- this was a winner. I muddled grilled rosemary figs with apple cider and Hangar 1 Straight Vodka for a Fall cocktail that is not too sweet and has a subtle smoky flavor which is deliciously unique.
I love the weather in early fall when you can feel the seasons shifting, but it's still warm enough to grill. You can thread these figs onto sprigs of rosemary in advance and thrown them on the grill as it's heating up. The figs just need to get warmed and a bit charred, so that the juices start to flow and they pick up a little of that smoky flavor. Picking rosemary rather that buying it is preferable if you have access to a bush because the stems are much sturdier for skewering the figs. If you are using store-bought sprigs, you may consider making a hole in each fig first with a skewer before pushing the sprigs through.
Grilled Fig Cocktail
makes 1 drink
2/3 c apple cider
3T (or 1 shot) of Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
2 fresh figs
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Thread one fresh fig onto a sprig of fresh rosemary. You may want to pierce the fig with a kebab stick and remove a few of the needles to thread the fig on more easily. Put the fig and rosemary on a hot BBQ for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the fig is warm and juicy and slightly charred (but not burned). Remove the fig (discard the rosemary) and put it in a mixing class with the apple cider and vodka. Muddle (or mash with a wooden spoon) the grilled fig, Hangar 1 Straight Vodka, and apple cider. Strain, then stir in bitters and ice. Garnish with half of a fresh fig on a short kebab stick and a rosemary sprig.
I am expecting #2, so I had some expert taste-testers at a recent gathering on the deck. Even my husband Jonathan, who usually prefers drinking Hangar 1 Vodka on the rocks, was a fan of this one!
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This post was done in partnership with Hangar 1 Vodka, a local brand we use and love.