I spent most of the fall playing with cranberry, pumpkin, pears, and figs in gin cocktails. This one is one of my favorites, combining muddled figs with a hit of maple syrup, tart lime, and spicy ginger beer, all circling around the complex flavors of gin. —fiveandspice
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Fiveandspice is a six-time contest winner who finds vodka dull, but loves gin.
WHAT: A fig-tastic cocktail worthy of better puns.
HOW: When you're tired of gin and tonics, muddle some figs and lime, throw in a couple ounces of maple syrup and gin, shake, double-strain it into a high-ball glass, and top with ginger beer.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Words like "double-strain" and "high-ball" can be enough to make us throw up our non-mixologist hands and go back to well drinks—but we're glad we stuck around. Not only is this drink easy to pull together, but the combination of the lime and figs instantly make this our summer go-to (even though it was invented in the fall!). —The Editors
dried mission figs, chopped into small pieces
freshly squeezed lime juice
grade B maple syrup
London dry gin
ginger beer (go for a nice, spicy one), plus more to taste
In the bottom of a shaker, muddle the dried figs with the lime juice. Add the maple syrup and gin.
Fill the shaker three-quarters full with good-sized ice cubes (about 1-inch cubes), close, and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is very cold, about 20 to 30 seconds.
Double strain the drink into a large cocktail or high-ball glass (i.e. strain it through your regular cocktail strainer, then smaller mesh strainer). Top with ginger beer, taste, then add more ginger beer if you want it a bit more spicy.
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.