Fig and bourbon ratafia - and a champagne cocktail

Infusing bourbon with figs, star anise and orange zest creates a deliciously sweet and musky ratafia. Serve as it is over ice, or use in cocktails such as an old-fashioned or a champagne cocktail.


Makes: 500ml


500ml bourbon

300g fresh figs

1 star anise

1 orange


Pour the bourbon into a sterilised jar or wide-necked bottle. Cut the figs into eighths and add those to the bourbon along with the star anise. Make sure the figs are just immersed by the alcohol.


Set aside somewhere cool and dark (but not the fridge) for 2 weeks, giving it a shake every couple of days to move the figs round. After two weeks add broad strips of zest from the orange. You should get a gentle smell figs coming from the bourbon as you open up the jar or bottle to do that.


Leave for another 3 days, then taste the ratafia and leave a little longer if you want a more heavily infused fruit flavour. When it is ready, strain out the figs, star anise and zest through a fine sieve and store the ratafia in a sterilised bottle. 


For a ratafia champagne cocktail:

Servings: 1

1 sugar cube

4 dashes Angostura Bitters

25ml fig and bourbon ratafia 

100ml champagne


Sit the sugar cube in a champagne saucer or flute. Douse with the dashes of bitters, pour over the ratafia and then top with the champagne, tilting the glass slightly so it doesn’t over-fizz. Serve immediately with the bubbles rising up in a excited stream from the sugar at the bottom of the glass.

(This recipe originally featured for Borough Market.)

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