I recently received a bottle of Esprit de Figues, the world’s first ever fig liqueur as far as I know. It was created by Patrick Borg (drinks entrepreneur and Think Spirits owner) and released in the UK in 2017. The bottle design by the reliable Stranger & Stranger is superb, but even more striking is the insane packaging as the bottle is concealed inside a weighty book with countless gold-lined pages – see below. Whether it always comes this way, I don’t know I’m afraid! The 18% liqueur is crafted and bottled at a 150-year-old family distillery in Burgundy. There, Violette de Bordeaux figs (grown in Morocco) are gently infused in high quality French beet spirit for three months to release their flavour. The resulting liquid is a beautiful colour, naturally derived from the skins of the figs.
The book smartly has a few cocktail suggestions at the front, from simple serves such as the Esprit de Fizz (with champagne) and Esprit & Soda to more involved recipes such as a Fig Honey Sour. I tried out three with some friends, all of which were rather enjoyable. One thing worth noting though is that the liqueur itself is relatively sweet and light bodied which needs to be taken into account when balancing the cocktails. Be careful not to over-dilute the drinks with wet ice when shaking, otherwise the flavours will be watered down. P.S. I rarely have the recommended garnishes to hand but I’ve included them on the recipes below anyway. Enjoy!
Fig Blossom: “For those who embrace the nights, dazzling like a precious bloom.”
30 ml Esprit de Figues
15 ml Elderflower Liqueur
20 ml Vodka
20 ml Grapefruit Juice
10 ml Fresh Lemon Juice
Shake with cubed ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an edible flower!
Fig Sidecar: “For those who swing between sweet and sour at a moment’s notice.”
40 ml Esprit de Figues
20 ml Cognac
15 ml Dry Orange Curacao
20 ml Fresh Lemon Juice
Moisten the rim of a coupette glass with lemon juice, and roll it in sugar to create a sugar rim. Shake all ingredients with cubed ice and fine strain into the prepared coupette glass. Garnish with a zest of fresh lemon.
Ichijiku: “For those who swing between sweet and sour at a moment’s notice.”
30 ml Esprit de Figues
30 ml Sake
10 ml Fresh Lime Juice
Shake with cubed ice and strain into a coupette glass. Garnish with fresh cucumber.
Many thanks to their PR for sending over a bottle of Esprit de Figues.