Rosemary Fig Old Fashioned

Shaking things up with this October-appropriate riff on a classic. This Rosemary Fig Old Fashioned is boozy, seductive, earthy, and totally unexpected. Put away the pumpkin beer and make yourself a real fall drink!

Clearly I'm having a moment with figs, and with good reason. I find them to be unbelievably beautiful, decadent little fruits that have a very charismatic appearance and flavor. I look forward to them all year long, and go crazy with them from late August through late October.

No offense to pumpkin, but I think it's really overdone. Pumpkin this and pumpkin that. I wanted to change things up with an October cocktail that straddles the line between earthy and sweet, incorporates some less traditional fall flavors, and is decidedly seductive.

This drink is a riff on an Old Fashioned, which is a classic bourbon cocktail. It typically unites bourbon, simple syrup, and bitters and is our fall and winter go-to. The Old Fashioned is a wonderful base for seasonal variations; see also my Vermont Old Fashioned (quite traditional), my Cherry Chai Old Fashioned (less traditional), my Coffee Maple Old Fashioned (out of the box), and my Deep In The Forest Old Fashioned (totally unique).

In this version, the drink is sweetened by a combination of fig simple syrup and rosemary simple syrup. The two combine to provide a wonderful balance of earthiness and wintry herbaceousness. A few dashes of bitters round it out. It's a bit woodsy and a bit moody, just like the volatile October weather that was plaguing me when I was trying to photograph this drink (the photos in this post spanned big black clouds, a downpour, and bright sunlight... which usually makes me crazy, but for this drink it seemed so fitting).

Yes, I am indeed suggesting that you make TWO different simple syrups. And yes, it's worth it! Making your own simple syrups at home is a great way to infuse drinks with flavor and they keep for ages in the fridge. I always have at least two or three interesting simple syrups on hand. Both of these are versatile and great for fall, so make a big batch and experiment with them the next couple weekends.

I like to garnish this drink with fresh figs. They're beautiful, charismatic, and make for a wonderful snack once they've soaked up some bourbon. If you enjoy garnishes, cut them into flowers as I've shown here. You can even go a bit crazy and really load your drink with them...

Because cocktails should be fun, right? Isn't that the whole point? This is a great one for experimenting with flavors, the balance of sweetness with earthiness, and garnishes. On a chilly fall or winter Saturday, we love to try out new drink ideas and make a few different plates of appetizers to match. If you're a fig lover, this drink would be the perfect complement to my Sweet and Salty Stuffed Figs.

Cheers to fall (and to fall flavors other than pumpkin)!

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Love the idea of figs in a cocktail? Me too! I also adore this Figgy Thyme Gin Fizz, which is a bit lighter and brighter, and so beautiful.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)

  • 2.5 oz bourbon
  • 0.25 oz rosemary simple syrup. Make this by boiling a few sprigs of rosemary in a 1:1 mixture of sugar and water until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • 0.25 oz fig simple syrup. Same as above, with 8-10 fresh figs cut into quarters, until it has thickened and developed a deep pink color.
  • Few dashes of bitters
  • Fresh figs for garnish
Thoughts About Method
(These are just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Ahead of time, prepare and chill the simple syrups.
  2. In a cocktail stirring glass with ice, combine the bourbon, simple syrups, and bitters.
  3. Give it all a stir, and let it sit for a minute to chill the drink.
  4. Pour into a highball glass with a few large ice cubes and garnish with additional fresh figs.


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