Delightful and very easy to prepare, this fig-infused Cognac is definitely something you’ll want to try at home this season.
Whether they are made of fruit, herbs or spices (or anything else you can think of really), spirit infusions are definitely one of my favorite things to experiment with when it comes to booze. Not only can they accentuate the characteristics of a given spirit but they can also give it a totally new dimension by adding one or multiple layers of flavor(s) to it.
While some are pretty “classic” and meant to be enjoyed neat (think about “Rhum Arrangés”), others can be very original and crafted mostly for cocktail use (think bacon fat-washed spirits). Whether you want to go one way or another is your choice!
On my end – and as much as the world of infusions offers endless opportunities – I often find myself coming back to the same few ones at specific times of the year, and Fig-infused Cognac is definitely one of them.
I particularly enjoy this one as both fresh and dried figs are aromas you can commonly find in young(er) Cognac and the infusion emphasizes this characteristic very well. The result works out perfectly and tastes absolutely amazing both neat and in cocktails.
Since I recently picked a few pounds of fresh Celeste figs from my in-law’s garden in Virginia Beach, I decided to prepare the first batch of the season and share the method with you all!
Step-by-step guide to making Fig-infused Cognac
Infusing Cognac with figs is pretty straight forward and neither requires a lot of preparation nor too much patience. It’s hard to go wrong with it, and the fig season lasts so long that you can easily start small and scale your operations up a few batches if you like it!
One Bottle (75 cl.) of VS or VSOP Cognac
2.5 Cups of ripe fresh figs (Black Mission, Celeste)
Note: While I would usually favor a VSOP Cognac for this infusion (as fig aromas tend to be a more prominent characteristic in older expressions), my current home provisions called for another expression and I went all in with a younger Merlet VS ($30-35). I figured a longer infusion time would even it out… and I guess it worked out pretty well!
MAKING THE INFUSION:
Prepare the ripe figs by rinsing them thoroughly and cutting them in half. Make sure there is not too much “green stem” on it which can alter the taste.
Place fig halves into the bottom of a large mason jar or sealable recipient.
Fill the rest of the jar with the Cognac of your choice and seal with lid.
Give the mixture a good shake to distribute ingredients, and let sit in a cool place for 24-48 hours, shaking occasionally (I try to shake it every 8 hours or so).
After up to 48 hours, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and store in a sealed jar for storage or bottle for consumption, and voila !
Note: The longer you infuse the Cognac, the sweeter it will be, so keep this in mind depending on what you’re planning to do with the infusion and adapt the proportions of your cocktails accordingly !
While I’ve never really had to ask myself how long it would last, I reckon you could easily keep it for 2-3 months in a refrigerated bottle and for much longer periods if you keep it sealed!
For Cocktail recipes, make sure to check @SpiritedSomm’s Instagram and website as I am definitely planning on sharing a few Cocktail recipes with fig infused Cognac!