As a young kid, one of my favourite treats were “crocette”, meaning “small crosses” in Italian. They get their name from their cross-like shape. It’s a pretty straight forward dessert: take a dried fig, fill it with nuts, and cover it in sugar and orange zest. Great, right?!
The last time I had one of these delicious treats , a lightbulb went off in my head: “What if this dessert was actually a glass of alcohol instead?”
Voilà, the Crocetta [CRO – CHET – TA] cocktail was born and now that I’m all grown up, I’m able to enjoy figs in a whole new way. And it’s still a treat!
2 oz bourbon
1 oz fig syrup
½ oz maraschino
¼ oz lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with half of a fresh fig.
Option 1: Fresh Figs
The ideal option is to look for fresh figs at the grocery store.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 – 5 chopped up figs
Mix all the ingredients into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. As the water heats up, stir to dissolve the sugar and incorporate the figs. Reduce heat to a simmer before the water comes to a boil. Let the mixture simmer for a couple of minutes and then remove from heat. Allow the mixture to sit for approximately 1 hour. Once cooled, strain out the fig pieces.
Option 2: Fig Jam
If you are unable to find fresh figs, you can use fig preserves instead.
1 cup water
1 cup fig jam
Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan on medium-high heat. As the water heats up, stir to incorporate the fig jam. Reduce heat to a simmer before the water comes to a boil. Let the mixture simmer for a couple of minutes and then remove from heat. Allow the mixture to sit for approximately 1 hour. Once cooled, strain out the remaining pieces of fig jam.
The unique fig taste pairs nicely with the sweetness of the bourbon (my bourbon of choice for this cocktail was Buffalo Trace). To get the nutty flavour, I first tried using amaretto, but found the result way too sweet. The maraschino liqueur, although not actually derived from any nuts, does give a nice hint of almond without being overly sweet. Topping it up with a few drops of citrus and orange bitters yields one of my favourite desserts – in liquid form.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!