So, what do you do when the California Fig Advisory Board sends you 4 flats of figs? Well, aside from doing the happy dance that is? Lot’s of things! But if you’re me, you make this Fig, Bourbon and Honey Smash cocktail!! Fresh figs smashed up with Buffalo Trace bourbon, lime juice and topped with a little sparkling water. Sweet, rich and tangy….
If you’ve been following me on instagram, you might have noticed that I’ve been a wee bit obsessed with these figs – and after tasting them, I highly recommend you search them out. – stat! But before you do, here’s a little “primer” on figs! Did you know that California grows 100% of the nation’s dried figs and 98% of fresh figs? I didn’t either. I also wasn’t aware of all of the varieties of figs that are grown in California.
Types of Figs
- Black Mission: These figs have a purple and black skin with a deep, earthy flavor and are wonderful when paired with meats and cheeses and in cocktails like this Fig, Bourbon and Honey Smash.
- Brown Turkey: Larger than the Black Mission, these figs have a lighter purple to black skin and have a more robust flavor – and they also pair beautifully with meats, cheeses or in salads … or just by themselves!
- Sierra: These figs have a light green skin with a light, sweet flavor. I love these figs in desserts and they are dynamite served on top on plain, thick yogurt drizzled with honey.
- Tiger: As the name implies, these dates are yellow and green striped and are perhaps my new favorites (if you can have a favorite that is!). They have a raspberry like flavor and are absolutely fabulous in desserts.
- Calimyrna: pale yellow with a brownish interior, these figs have a nutty flavor and are great for savory dishes.
- Kadota: creamy, amber skin with a less intense, “figgy” flavor.
Flavorful figs really don’t really need much in the way of embellishment – the KISS principle really applies when using figs IMO. So, when faced with a large supply of figs, keep it simple. A few sliced figs topped with a bit of creamy goat cheese, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with pistachios is a lovely way to start a meal. Looking for a lovely ending? This Fig Cake with Gingered Syrup is incredibly good. Or do like I do and-invite a few friends over and make up a batch of this Fig, Bourbon and Honey Smash!
What you’ll need for a Fig, Bourbon and Honey Smash:
- 4 fresh black mission or brown turkey figs
- good bourbon – I used Buffalo Trace but any high quality bourbon will work!
- fresh limes!
- good honey – I’ve been using this Turkish honey from Trader Joe’s.
You can “batch” this cocktail – i.e. you can mix the cocktail up a few hours ahead of time, refrigerate it and then pour over the rocks and top with sparkling water just before serving!