fig and bourbon summer smash


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

fig and bourbon summer smash | A Brown Table

Last Sunday, we attended the San Francisco street food festival. Ever since we moved, I’ve been wanting to attend the festival and taste all the delicious things that people are cooking up because that is what makes this city such an amazing food destination. And to be honest, we weren’t disappointed. We tried empanadas, tacos, bahn mis, ice creams etc. Every thing had some sort of innovative flavor or idea combined into a traditional dish. 

fried pork cake sandwich, thai iced tea at San Francisco Food Festival | A Brown Table

Lobster salad at San Francisco Street Food Festival | A Brown Table

Watermelon Agua Fresca + Beef and Chicken Empanadas at San Francisco Street Food Festival |A Brown Table

When Renée and Sherrie asked me to join their blogger summer drink special, I wasn’t sure if I should. You see, I have never, ever in the past four years created a cocktail for this blog. It made me nervous and after I said yes to the girls, I kept telling myself, “Why the heck did you say yes?” Since I rarely make my own cocktails at home, I wasn’t sure how this would pan out. But now, after going through this fun experience, I’m glad I said yes and my blog is no longer a cocktail virgin (though my dear friend Meg shared a cranberry moscow mule with you in December when I went to India). 

fig and bourbon summer smash | A Brown Table

Fig and bourbon are meant to be together. In an ideal world, every fig tree should produce a bottle of bourbon with every fig it grows. Maybe those travel size alcohol minis would work? And so I’ve combined my love for figs and bourbon in a glass or two for this drink recipe roundup.

It’s been terribly hot for the past few weeks (the mercury hit the triple digits) and fortunately, the cocktail experimentation in the kitchen turned out to be the perfect remedy to battle the weather. An ice cold glass of this fruity bourbon drink that’s lightly sweetened with honey and infused with fresh mint and lime. And of course if you like it a little more sweet or a little more boozy, adjust accordingly. 

fig and bourbon summer smash | A Brown Table

fig and bourbon summer smash | A Brown Table

fig and bourbon summer smash | A Brown Table

fig and bourbon summer smash | A Brown Table

fig and bourbon summer smash | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this drink;

  • Use dark figs such as black mission figs or brown turkey figs. Their flavor is stronger and more robust and will work really well in this cocktail.
  • Instead of water, you can also make the drink a little fizzier by replacing it with sparkling water.
  • The more overripe your figs, the sweeter and stronger the flavor. Fresh limes and mint leaves make a huge difference in the drink.
  • I like to make the fig-bourbon mix ahead of time but just a word of caution, the longer you keep it in the alcohol (don’t go over more than 2 days) the boozier the fruit pulp. 

fig and bourbon summer smash | A Brown Table

fig and bourbon summer smash

yields: around 6 servings


6 to 8 overripe fresh figs, stalks trimmed

500mL bourbon

1/2 cup honey

1 1/2 cups chilled water

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

12 fresh mint leaves, julienned

ice cubes

1. Place the figs in a 1 liter mason jar or a jar wide enough to allow the figs to be smashed. Pour the bourbon over the figs and smash the fruit using a muddler. Pour honey into the jar and seal airtight with a lid. Shake aggressively and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours. 

2. Just before serving, shake the jar. Remove 1/4 cup of the fig mixture add 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 mint leaves. Muddle the mint leaves in the glass using a muddler, taste and adjust sweetness if necessary and then add a few ice cubes. Serve ice cold and immediately. 

Note: If you like this drink stronger, you can add a little more bourbon to it before adding the ice cubes. 

19 Responses

  1. I can’t believe you’ve never shared a cocktail recipe before because this is just amazing. You seriously combined like ALL of my favorite things into one glorious drink. I really hope I can pick up some figs tomorrow at my local market because this is soooo happening. Also – your photos. JESUS CHRIST. Every time. So beautiful I can’t even handle it.

  2. Yay! This drink looks and sounds delicious, and I love your photos from the street food fest. I’m impressed you managed to take such good photos, it was so crowded when I went! Every time I tried to take a photo, I just got jostled and I was like, welp, eff it.

  3. Um, Nik, for a first go at sharing a cocktail, well, you nailed it! Also, I wish I also could’ve made the SF Street Food Fest this year – thanks for sharing your experience!

  4. Your pouring shots get me every time Nik! For your first cocktail post, it is STUNNING. For your thirty fifth cocktail post, THIS IS STUNNING. Happy summer, friend – and cheers to this mega awesome drink mixer today! 🙂

  5. Your pictures are always so inspiring, and these are particularly gorgeous. I’ve been really into bourbon this summer and I bought figs at the farmer’s market over the must be fate. I’m going to make this cocktail right now! xo

  6. dude. 3 things:

    1. Happy cocktail popping! cherry popping? Yikes. Now like most guys gone wild, go ahead and be a cocktail slut. just make sure you practice safe mixing.

    2. Your pictures literally have caused a physical reaction in me. They are stunning and heart stopping, rustically beautiful.

    3. That avocado stuffed situation is deeeevine!

    Okay one more. Figs + bourbon = good. We agree.

    Happy #DrinkTheSummer day!

  7. I shouldn’t be surprised that you photographed the shit out of your first cocktail. So lovely, Nik! And those figs are gorgie!

  8. Really?! I never would have guessed this was your first cocktail post Nik. I’m really in love with everything happening here. Thanks for hanging with us friend. #DRINKTHESUMMER!

  9. I’m so making this! We got our first ripe figs (2) today and by next week we will be swimming in figs.

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