Chocolate-Fig Old Fashioned
2 oz Chocolate-Fig Infused Rye Whiskey
1 tsp Cinnamon Syrup
1 Barspoon Maraschino Liqueur
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
To infuse the whiskey: combine one bottle of rye whiskey with half a cup of cacao nibs and half a cup of dried figs, diced, in a nonreactive container. Let it sit for at least a couple of weeks and, better yet, a month if you can wait that long. Give it a shake every day. Then strain the infusion through a coffee filter to remove all the solids and bottle the infused rye.
To make the cinnamon syrup: combine a cup of sugar, a cup of water, and three cinnamon sticks, broken up into bits, in a sauce pan. Heat the pan gently to melt the sugar into the water, then remove from heat and cover the pan. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then strain out the solids and bottle the syrup.
To make the Old Fashioned: combine the rye, cinnamon syrup, liqueur, and bitters in a mixing glass, then add a few big pieces of ice. Stir well and strain into a chilled rocks glass. Add some fresh chunks of ice and garnish with an orange twist. Enjoy!
What a wonderful drink this makes: smooth, sweetly chocolaty, with warm spicy notes and hints of chewy, wintery fruit.
The best way to get those dark, rich, chocolaty notes in an infusion is to use cacao nibs – the little broken bits you get when you roast and shell a cacao bean. And the best way to get those earthy, fruity fig flavors is to use dried figs; the water in fresh fruit will dilute your infusion. Just know: your infusion will look like a dirty, murky mess before you filter it. I had to triple-filter to remove all the sediment.
(Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we’ve been posting our experiments before they make their way onto this column!)
Glassware by Liquorary
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper