Let's make the most of fig season with this sage-fig cocktail! Featuring a sage simple syrup, fresh figs, sweet orange liqueur and rum, this tasty and oh-so pretty cocktail is the perfect welcome to the fall.
Sometimes life isn't fair. How can fresh figs be so delicious yet only available for such a short time? Sigh. Well, the best we can do is make the most of fig season, and I have just the recipe for you: a sage-fig cocktail with a healthy dose of rum.
Besides incorporating one of my favorite seasonal treats, I especially adore this cocktail for its pretty color. Anything in blush pink —- cocktail or otherwise —- makes me swoon. Is it weird to like a cocktail for its color? If it is, go ahead and call me weird because this cocktail is so pretty, and that makes me happy.
On top of that gorgeous hue, I love how the sweet fig and savory sage flavors complement each other without one overpowering the other. The sage comes through in an infused simple syrup while we muddle fresh figs to get that signature jammy sweetness. The two flavors meld together like equal partners who just want to work together to bring you the most delicious cocktail possible. How nice of them.
OK, enough chatting. Let's start mixing. For this cocktail, we need a sage-infused simple syrup, fresh black mission figs, lemon juice, Grand Marnier, white rum, ice and club soda. With infused simple syrup, it's best to make it ahead of time. This gives the simple syrup time for the sage to steep for a stronger flavor as well as a chance to cool.
To make the sage-infused simple syrup, we bring equal parts water and sugar along with a handful of fresh sage leaves to a high simmer. We give the simple syrup a stir here and there to help dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar dissolves, we turn off the heat and let the sage steep for at least 30 minutes.
Of course, if you don't get around to making the simple syrup beforehand, you can still make it right before cocktail time and give it less time to steep. Just know that the sage flavor won't be as prominent, and you may want to use a little extra ice in the next step.
Once the sage-infused simple syrup is ready, we're just minutes away from a delicious cocktail. We slice the figs in half, add them to our cocktail shaker and muddle until they break down.
If you don't have a fancy muddler, you can use the blunt end of a cooking spoon. That said, a muddler is definitely worth picking up if you enjoy making cocktails at home.
After we muddle the figs in the cocktail shaker, we add the sage-infused simple syrup, lemon juice, Grand Marnier, rum and ice and then pop on the top and give it a good shake. About 15 to 30 seconds works.
As you can see, figs have a lot of seeds. That just comes with the territory. I don't mind the seeds because it makes the drink seem fresher in my brain. Plus, I enjoy the added texture. However, if you're not into seeds, you might want to strain the cocktail over a cheese cloth-lined fine-mesh sieve.
Once we strain, we top this fall cocktail with club soda for a bubbly kick, gently stir and sip away.
What if I Can't Find Fresh Figs?
Considering the short growing season of figs, you can't always find them fresh. But don't worry. That doesn't mean you can only make this cocktail when you have fresh figs on hand.
For those times, we can instead add a cup of dried figs to the simple syrup with the sage. Dried figs give a richer, more concentrated flavor. The color won't be the same as pictured, and the flavor will be a bit different, but it's a delicious option when you can't get fresh figs.
Figs are delicious with caramelized onions and blue cheese, and I just happen to have the perfect recipe: caramelized onion polenta with a blue cheese sauce. I love the way fig and the caramelization from the onions mimic each other with their sweet, rich flavors, and the blue cheese offers a salty, briny contrast. This sage-fig cocktail and that caramelized onion polenta were made for each other.
Or maybe you can't get enough figs. In that case, you'll love my baked Brie with fig and Kahlua sauce. This is easily one of my favorite fall appetizers.
I hope you put this sage-fig cocktail on your fall menu and take advantage of fig season while it lasts. Please let me know how you enjoyed this recipe in the comment section and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You can also catch me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
Looking for More Fall Cocktails?
- Small saucepan
- Cocktail shaker
- Citrus juicer
- Jigger or small measuring cup
Sage Simple Syrup
- 3-4 fresh sage sprigs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 black mission figs halved (see note if fresh figs aren't available for dried fig alternative)
- 2 ounces white rum
- 1 ounce orange liqueur preferably Grand Marnier
- 1 ounce sage simple syrup
- ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Chilled club soda for topping
Sage Simple Syrup
- In a small saucepan, combine sage, water and sugar. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Frequently stir to help dissolve sugar.
- Once the mixture simmers and the sugar dissolves, turn off heat, allow the sage to steep for at least 30 minutes and strain. Chill and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for several weeks.
- Muddle the figs in a cocktail shaker until they mostly break down. Add rum, Grand Marnier, sage simple syrup, lemon juice and ice.
- Put on the top of the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 15 to 30 seconds. Strain into ice-filled glasses and top with club soda. Enjoy!
- Figs have a lot of seeds, so if you want a seedless cocktail, strain the cocktail over a cheese cloth-lined fine-mesh sieve.
- If you can't find fresh figs, you can add a cup of dried figs to the simple syrup with the sage. Dried figs have a richer flavor than fresh figs, but it will still be super tasty and infuse plenty of fig flavor.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.