For those who are yet introduced to the fig, this fruit is from the mulberry family. It’s native to Asia and the Mediterranean, and prized for both its aesthetics and health benefits. Grown on ficus trees in moderate & temperate climates, figs have a shorter growing season in early summer, and then again from late summer through fall. This fruit is not only extraordinarily beautiful, but soft and tender to the touch. It offers an incredible sweetness and unique texture in form of the fruit’s fine seeds. Because of it’s honey-like sweetness, the fig is often used in desserts, but I love using it as a means to creatively cut through bold, savory flavors.
If you live in the Midwest or Northeast of America, finding an abundance of fresh figs is a rarity. When selecting figs at the market, the fruit should be tender to the touch with slightly wrinkled skin, yet plump with a stem that has a slight bit of bend. The fruit should not be shrunken, squishy, have any splits or a milky substance around the stem. And always check the underside of the fig container. This fruit does not keep long and mold can form.
Also, you are on a fig’s time. The fig is not on yours and figs wait for no one. Figs will keep longer in the refrigerator, but begin incrementally losing the fruit’s inherent sweetness and natural flavors when refrigerated. Figs are best kept in open air, but they don’t keep long so make sure you are purchasing to consume ASAP!
One of my favorite – Black Mission Mojitos – embraces everything wonderful about the fig, then exponentially amplifies its uniquely natural sweetness alongside crisp, fresh leaves of mint, acidity of the lime, & smooth, chilled white rum. But, if you truly want to take this beverage from fantastic to phenomenal infuse the white rum with fresh sliced figs.
You’ll have to plan ahead – 3 days ahead, to be exact. Day one, rum + figs. Day two, nada. On day three, strain seeds from the liquid, return rum to bottle, chill, and make mixology magic happen. Each beverage takes only a few minutes to prepare & assuredly will be the star of you party – ensure plenty of figs, rum, mint & soda in stock!
So, out with the same ‘ole booze, brews & cocktails – It’s time to kick up your creativity & take your libation game to the next level!!
- 2 fresh Black Mission or Adriatic striped figs, plus additional slices for garnish
- 1-2 lime wedges, plus 1 ounce lime juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste (substitute Stevia as needed)
- 10 mint leaves, separated from sprig
- ¾ cup crushed ice
- 2 ounces white rum
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup club soda
- Place two sliced figs, lime wedge, lime juice and sugar in a cocktail glass. Muddle together.
- Press the mint leaves with the back of a spoon to release the oils.
- Add the mint leaves to the cocktail glass with muddled figs and mix together.
- Top with Ice, then rum, vanilla and soda.
- Stir, then garnish with a sliced fig and/or a fresh sprig of mint.