Fig Old-Fashioned Cocktail

If you are lucky enough to have figs, you will want to try this delicious fig old-fashioned cocktail! You can use fresh or dried figs to make a sweet, fruity simple syrup and combine it with your favorite whiskey to make a perfect drink.

A glass of a drink with figs in it.

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Fig Old-Fashioned recipe

Fig season is one of my favorite seasons. There is nothing like a fresh, succulent fig!

I used to have access to a fig tree for unlimited fresh figs when they were in season, but the owner moved away, much to my fig-loving chagrin!

These days, I have to rely on spotting them at the grocery store, and even then they can be expensive and spoil quickly.

I try to make them last as long as possible: One of my favorite ways is to make fig simple syrup so that I can drizzle it on ice cream or mix it into a cocktail.

This fig old-fashioned cocktail is a delicious and easy drink. Bourbon perfectly highlights the bright flavor of figs. You’re going to love it!

More old-fashioned recipes: Apple Old-FashionedChocolate Old-FashionedS’mores Old-FashionedPumpkin Spice Old-FashionedMaple Syrup Old-Fashioned

A cocktail with figs and ice in a glass.

Why you’ll love this recipe

You’ll love this recipe for a few great reasons:

  • This cocktail is a delicious way to enjoy the bounty of fig season.
  • It’s easy to make with real figs, a quick simple syrup and your favorite whiskey.
  • Bourbon lovers will adore this twist on the classic whiskey cocktail this time of year.

What is an old-fashioned?

The classic old-fashioned is a classic cocktail known for its simplicity and timeless appeal. It is typically made with whiskey, often bourbon, although other variations can feature rye whiskey, aged rum, or even mezcal.

Old-fashioned cocktails are spirit-forward, meaning they are heavy on the alcohol. They don’t have any mixers like sour mix or soda, which allows your chosen whiskey to shine through.

When crafting old-fashioned, small but mighty flavor elements are added to complement the whiskey. Typically an old-fashioned includes:

This fig version offers a sweet twist, which you can add with fresh or dried figs. To start, we’ll make a fig syrup that you’ll mix into the drink.

A person pouring liquid into a glass with figs.

Tools & glassware

It’s traditional to serve and old-fashioned cocktail in old-fashioned glasses, also called rocks glasses.

These are short, glass tumblers. When you raise a short glass to your mouth, your nose is closer to the liquid, allowing you to breathe in the drink’s fragrance, enhancing each sip.

You might also want to create large clear ice cubes for each drink.

Also, to make the fig simple syrup, you’ll need a few more things:

  • cutting board and a sharp knife for cutting the figs
  • saucepan and wooden spoon or spatula for making the syrup
  • fine-mesh strainer for refining the syrup
  • a clean mason jar or bottle for storing the finished syrup in the fridge.
Whole figs, sugar and water on a marble countertop.
Fig Syrup Ingredients

Ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. Here’s what to grab at the grocery store:

  • dried or fresh figs, for the syrup and the garnish
  • white sugar, for the syrup
  • water, for the syrup
  • bourbon whiskey
  • orange bitters
  • ice cube

Best whiskey for old-fashioneds

Old-fashioneds can be made with any whiskey, but bourbon is the classic. This recipe will also work with rye, Irish, whiskey, scotch and even other spirits like mezcal or rum.

My go-to bourbon is Old Forester, but you can use just about any brand. If you have a favorite, start with that. If you don’t, I also suggest Four Roses, Bulleit, Tin Cup or Woodford Reserve.

A cocktail with figs and ice in a glass.

Variations and substitutions

Try a simple twist on this recipe: 

Smoked fig old-fashioned: A smoked old-fashioned is a luxurious treat. With figs, it would be even better. Head to my smoked old-fashioned tutorial for all my best tips and tricks.

Non-alcoholic: Use a zero-proof spirit whiskey such as Ritual whiskey alternative.

Play with flavor: Experiment with other flavors and ingredients like lemon zest and vanilla bitters in the cocktail, or use brown sugar in the syrup

No fig syrup? You can muddle fresh figs and use the juices in your cocktail. You could also use a splash of fig balsamic vinegar. 

A glass bottle with Fig Syrup and a gold spoon.

How to make Fig Syrup

You’ll want to whip up some fig simple syrup to make this old-fashioned cocktail. Here’s how to make my fig syrup recipe:

Sliced figs in a metal pot.
Figs in a pot with sugar and water.

First, wash your ripe figs, cut off the stems and slice them up into quarters or slices. If using dry figs, simply chop them into smaller pieces.

Place figs and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook for 20 minutes. The liquid will reduce and become a flavorful syrup, and the figs will become soft.

A glass bowl filled with a mixture of figs and liquid.
Sugar is being poured into a bowl of purple liquid.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the fig mixture to yield a smooth, refined liquid. Strain again if any fig seeds come through. Discard the stewed figs or enjoy them with ice cream or oatmeal.

Measure the hot liquid and add an equal amount of sugar. (Alternatively, measure 1 cup of liquid and 1 cup of syrup.) Stir until dissolved.

Let the syrup cool completely, then funnel into a mason jar or bottle. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to one month. If it ever looks like a cloudy syrup, it’s time to toss it.

How to make a Fig Old-Fashioned

The old-fashioned is such a simple recipe to make. Let’s get started!

A person pouring liquid into a glass with figs.
A person pouring liquid into a glass with figs.

Grab a mixing glass and a bar spoon, or make this fig old-fashioned right in your rocks glass.

Add your fig simple syrup and bourbon. Stir together.

A hand is holding a glass with figs in it.

Then lower in a large ice cube or ice ball. (Or, if using a mixing glass, pour it over the ice in a rocks glass.)

Add a few dashes of orange bitters and garnish it with a sliced fresh fig. You can also add a piece of orange peel if you like.

Got extra fig syrup? Use it instead of plain syrup to make your favorite cocktail recipes, like a fig sparkler.

Tips & tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:

  • Eat figs within three days of picking them. Making them into fig syrup helps to preserve the flavor a little longer.
  • Use white sugar to ensure a rich purple color, though the color will depend on the figs used.
  • For a thicker, sticky syrup, use a 1:2 or 1:1.5 ratio of water to sugar.
  • Add a small amount of sweetener to start — you can always add a little more.
A cocktail with figs and ice in a glass.

What to serve with a Fig Old-Fashioned

A fig old-fashioned is delicious before or after dinner.

For appetizers, serve this drink with fig crostini (with extra fig syrup drizzled on top) or a cheese board decked out with your favorite cheeses plus fresh figs, dried figs or even some fig preserves.

For dessert, enjoy these Italian fig cookies (called Cuccidati) or simply nosh on some roasted fresh figs with ice cream.

A glass of a cocktail with figs and a gold spoon.

FAQ

What is fig syrup good for?

Fig syrup can be drizzled over desserts, pancakes and ice cream. It can also be mixed into cocktails.

What is in fig syrup?

Fig syrup contains the essence of real figs (either fresh or dried) that have been steeped in hot water, then the liquid is mixed with sugar.

What is the best whiskey for an old-fashioned?

Bourbon whiskey is the most popular style of whiskey for old-fashioned cocktails. Rye whiskey is also common. This classic cocktail can also be made with other types of whiskey like Canadian whisky, Irish whiskey or Scotch whisky. You can also make them with tequila, mezcal and rum.

More fig recipes

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

A glass of a cocktail with figs and a gold spoon.

Fig Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Yield: 1 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Take advantage of fig season with a fig old-fashioned cocktail. This sweet whiskey drink is a great way to enjoy fig flavor.
5 from 1 vote
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ingredients

Fig simple syrup

  • 1 pound figs fresh or dried
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Fig old-fashioned cocktail

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ¼ to ½ ounce fig syrup
  • 2-3 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 fresh or dried fig for garnish

instructions

Fig syrup

  • First, wash your figs, cut off the stems and slice them up into quarters.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring sliced figs and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a simmer for 30 minutes. The liquid will reduce and the figs will become soft.
  • Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the fig mixture to yield a smooth, refined liquid. Strain again if any seeds come through. Discard the stewed figs or enjoy them with ice cream or oatmeal.
  • Measure the hot liquid and add an equal amount of sugar. (Alternatively, measure 1 cup of liquid and 1 cup of syrup.) Stir until dissolved.
  • Let cool completely, then funnel into a jar or bottle. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to one month.

Fig old-fashioned cocktail

  • Grab a mixing glass and a bar spoon, or make this old-fashioned right in your rocks glass.
  • Add your fig simple syrup and bourbon. Stir together.
  • Then lower in a large ice cube or ice ball. (Or, if using a mixing glass, pour it over the ice in a rocks glass.)
  • Add a few dashes of orange bitters and garnish it with a sliced fig.

notes

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:
  • Eat figs within three days of picking them. Making them into fig syrup helps to preserve the flavor a little longer.
  • Use white sugar to ensure a rich purple color, though the color will depend on the figs used.
  • For a thicker, sticky syrup, use a 1:2 or 1:1.5 ratio of water to sugar.
  • Add a small amount of sweetener to start — you can always add a little more.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

nutrition information

Yield: 1 servings

amount per serving:

Serving: 1oz Calories: 1237kcal Carbohydrates: 286g Protein: 3g Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0.3g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g Sodium: 31mg Potassium: 1057mg Fiber: 13g Sugar: 274g Vitamin A: 644IU Vitamin C: 9mg Calcium: 175mg Iron: 2mg
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