Fig & bourbon ratafia

by Angela Clutton

A sweet and musky infusion from Angela Clutton

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.


For the ratafia:
500ml bourbon
300g fresh figs
1 star anise
1 orange

For the champagne cocktail (per glass):
1 sugar cube
4 dashes of angostura bitters
100ml champagne


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 around. After 2 weeks, add broad strips of zest from the orange. You should get a gentle smell of figs coming from the bourbon as you open up the jar or bottle.

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.

To make a champagne cocktail, sit a sugar cube in a champagne saucer or flute. Douse with bitters, pour over 25ml ratafia and then top with champagne, tilting the glass slightly so it doesn’t over-fizz. Serve immediately. The bubbles will rise up in an excited stream from the sugar at the bottom of the glass.

Recipe: Angela Clutton
Image: Orlando Gili