Food + Wine

Fig Bourbon Sour

This past Christmas we made our own Fig Bourbon.  We didn’t make the bourbon part… just turned bourbon into Fig Bourbon by infusing it.  I needed to make that clear, because when we gave it to my mother she said, ‘Oooh!! You made your own bourbon!!??’  Then we felt supremely inadequate to have only infused it.  But it’s a really delicious thing we made, nonetheless.

So, having made the Fig Bourbon, given it away as presents with a recipe and cocktail kit for Rosemary Fig Old Fashioned’s, we found ourselves with leftover bourbon.  We’re never complaining about bourbon lying around the house, but when we were thinking on a cocktail to make and bring to a Super Bowl Party, we pulled out the good stuff and this is what I came up with.

It was my husband’s idea to make a twist on a whiskey sour, and it was a damn good idea.  We needed the cocktail to be able to be made ahead of time and not need anything carbonated or refrigeration for a couple hours.

So I made a sour mix with fresh citrus and agave, and once I mixed it with the Fig Bourbon… magic happened.


makes 4 cups

In a large glass pitcher, combine the following…

  • 1 1/2 cups Fig Bourbon (recipe below)
  • 2 1/2 cups Sour Mix (recipe below)
  • cold water to taste, if desired (sparkling water could also be used to top off each glass)

Stir well, serve over ice with an orange twist if desired.

The reason behind the water is that some people don’t like a really concentrated drink…I’m one of those.  I don’t like things too sweet (even though these really aren’t incredibly sweet comparatively speaking), so I added a splash or two of water to my glass after I poured in the cocktail.  But others at the party preferred it straight up.  Taste yours and see what you think!

(Begin with infusing your bourbon… and you won’t be using all of the bourbon for these cocktails with the recipe I’m giving, but you can easily adjust the amount of sour mix to do so if need be.)

Fig Bourbon:

Pour a fifth of bourbon or whiskey (757 mL, and we used Bulleit Frontier Whiskey) into a large glass container, with enough room for the liquid line to rise by about 50%.

Add in 9 ounces of dried figs that you’ve sliced in half.  We used the California brand Nutra-Fig that comes in a flat, circular package found in most grocery stores.  I recommend the golden or turkish variety of figs over the black mission, as they have a more honey-like flavor that pairs better with the flavor of the bourbon itself.

Cover the container with a tight fitting lid, or with plastic wrap and a rubber band if yours doesn’t have a lid.

Place in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks.  Agitate it whenever you think about it.

Strain, but know that some fig seeds will remain.  And I really like that, but if you don’t, strain through cheesecloth or a kitchen towel over the sieve (and reserve the figs for a fun party treat if desired 😉 )

Store in an airtight container as you would any other liquor.

Agave Sour Mix:

In a large glass measuring cup, combine the following…

  • 1/2 cup light agave nectar
  • 1 cup cold water

Whisk well to combine.

Add in the juice of…

  • 2 small, navel oranges
  • 3 lemons
  • 4 limes

This will equal 1 cup of mixed citrus juice.

Whisk to combine.

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