1 pound fresh, ripe figs
1 750mL bottle of Maker’s Mark
1 vanilla bean, split, but not seeded
Wash figs under warm running water and pat dry. Remove stems and blemishes and then quarter the fruit. Place the vanilla bean and quartered figs into a large, sterilized jar. You can sterilize your jar by filling it with boiling water and then drying it with a towel. Fill jar with bourbon (save the bourbon bottle for later) and place the lid on it. Allow bourbon and figs to sit in a cool, dark, dry place for two weeks. Check the mixture: If the bourbon smells like figs, its ready to go, if not, allow to sit another week and check again.
Strain the bourbon through a small sieve into the clean, original bourbon bottle (you will need a funnel for this). The bourbon is ready to drink and will keep for up to a year at room temperature. Save the strained, bourbon-soaked figs and place into an airtight container. Refrigerate and reserve for the recipe below.
Fig Infused Bourbon and Ginger Beer
Fill a high ball glass with crushed ice.
Add 1/3 fig bourbon and 2/3 Ginger Beer
Garnish with a macerated fig and mint leaves.
Genevelyn at richmond.com, Sept. 8, 2009