(Note: this post was originally published on September 18, 2019. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
As summer draws to a close, I've found myself looking for a cocktail that bridges summer and fall. After a lot of brainstorming and some experimenting (I know, life is hard, but someone has to do it), I've fallen in love with this beauty: the Figgy Thyme Gin Fizz.
This cocktail is an ode to the last long, warm days of the season. The figs and the light, floral gin are straight out of summer, while the thyme foreshadows fall flavors to come.
The flavors in this drink are really beautiful. I've seriously fallen in love with this combination! The sweet fig syrup and herbacious thyme both echo different parts of the gin, and the result is so harmonious. Plus look at that delicate pink color!
I have a funny story about this drink. After brainstorming and testing fig cocktails for weeks, I finally decided upon using thyme and the pairing was delightful. Then I took these photos, which I was really happy with. But something about the photos seemed so familiar, and I couldn't figure it out...
A few days later, I realized: my idol and cocktail hero The Margarita Mum had posted a fig and thyme gin cocktail way back in early May, four months ago! Hers is of course so stunningly beautiful that it must have stayed deep in the subconscious part of my brain, waiting for the right time to come back to the surface. So thank you to Rhonda of The Margarita Mum for the subconscious inspiration behind this cocktail and for continued cocktail inspiration in general! Her amazing "Figetmenot" is here.
This cocktail relies upon a simple syrup to get all that wonderful fig flavor into a drinkable form. If you've never made a simple syrup before, don't let the fancy name intimidate you! If you can boil water, you can do it.
A simple syrup is just a 1:1 mixture of sugar and water, cooked down until it becomes thick and syrupy. It's a great way for capturing flavors that are difficult to get into a liquid form otherwise... for example, fig! Because figs aren't terribly juicy like, say, an orange, you can't just juice them and add the resulting liquid to a drink. That's why the simple syrup is a very powerful tool in mixology!
The recipe below will walk you through making a fig simple syrup, using fresh figs. But this concept will work for just about anything you can dream up, so don't be afraid to experiment! Herbs, warming spices like cinnamon, and edible flowers all yield wonderful simple syrups.
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Because the flavors in this cocktail are quite delicate, it's really pretty versatile. It can pair well with summer fare or fall fare, and excels most with meals that involve herbs and/or fruit. Can't you imagine sipping this on the deck on a warm September evening, maybe alongside some bountiful late-summer salads?
This cocktail is an ode to the magic of late summer days and my most favorite seasonal treat: fresh figs! They're an ingredient that you can only get a couple months out of the year, and to me they epitomize the beauty of super-seasonal eating. If you haven't fallen in love with figs yet, I hope this cocktail will convince you.
Enjoy these last few gorgeous bits of summer, sipping one of these and soaking up the sun while you still can!
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
Perfect for warm evenings in late summer and early fall, this cocktail unites sweet figs and earthy thyme with the complex flavors of gin. The fig simple syrup is great to have on-hand!