“Creating a fig liqueur had never been done before”, tells Patrick Borg of Think Spirits, a renowned Australian liquor distribution company which has recently released an unprecedented fruit liqueur, Esprit de Figues, that is fast rising to the very top of the wish lists of discerning drinkers and bartenders alike. Yep, it’s a genuine fresh fig liqueur, made from handpicked Violette de Bourdeaux Figs and bottled at a 150 year old distillery located in the lush grounds of Burgundy, France.
The famously rich and succulent earthy fruit has, especially in recent years, proven to be one of the most in-demand flavours for dishes, so it stands to reason that the same appeal would translate well to cocktails. No surprise that it does, coming after seven long years of research and development by Borg and his team.
Now the elegant looking rich dark purple liqueur is being poured at some of the most high-end bars and restaurants in the world, including Claridges in Savoy, Ritz Carlton in London, and Rockpool Bar & Grill in Sydney.
“It took a while before we could find a French Distillery and convince them that a Fig liqueur was going to be a commercial success”, said Borg while speaking to the AU review. “Once we partnered with a distiller it was then about trying to figure out how to make the liqueur taste like you were biting into a fresh fig. That whole progress took three years; we sent samples back and forth and each sample took up to three months to arrive.”
Though seven years is a very long time, the length of time has certainly paid off. “Biting into a fresh fig” is in fact a very apt description when tasting this liquor neat, seeing as it’s rather juicy and intense though without the sickly sweet palate one would expect. Rather, there’s a nice balance which lifts the earthy notes of the fruit, connecting the palate with a nose that’s vibrant and full of fresh figs, berries and even some vanilla. Of course, fresh fig is the first flavour on the front-end, but towards the back of the palate starts to bring in some peach, honey and strawberry, making this not only a valuable addition to many fruit-based cocktails, but one of those rare liqueurs that will undoubtedly lead to a treasure trove of new concoctions.
The possibility of bartenders is only the start of this. Champagne drinkers should have a ball adding splashes of this of their favourite glass, especially seeing as it works very well with a clean and light prosecco. Going even simpler, Esprit de Figues works wonders when used with some good quality soda water and a squeeze of lemon.
A few signature serves have been created to help spark some creativity, including Fig Sangria and a Fig Honey Sour. A full list of cocktails and more information on the liqueur can be found HERE.
Esprit de Figues is available in 500ml bottles for an RRP of $49.99. You can buy it in bottle shops across Australia or online from Dan Murphys.