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12 Days of Cocktails: Day 2

Posted on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016



The holidays have a way of sneaking up on us, like some giant abominable snowman wrapped in tinsel singing the 12 Days of Christmas at the top of his lungs, and we always turn around and say, “How did this happen?” But here we are less than two weeks away from the big show and I’m sure you’re all out there just cool as snowflakes. I didn’t think so.  But hey we’re all in the same sleigh so just know even the most seasoned party thrower feels the heat of the holidays. Cocktails don’t have to be fussy and complicated to be delicious and festive. We hope that you’re able to find some awesome recipes that fit your schedule and will spread joy and cheers, not stress and tears. One of the greatest tips for creating a impressive cocktail without a lot of effort are infusions. I call them the ‘crock pot cooking of the cocktail world’. Set it and forget it. Well, don’t really forget it, you should definitely check on it.

Infusions are a great way to add a layer of flavor to a classic cocktail without having to add a ton of prep time to your already full plate.  Take a classic tried and true cocktail recipe like a Manhattan or Martini and add an infused spirit and you’ve got a new addition to your cocktail repertoire. Today’s recipe is a beautiful and seasonal take on the classic Old Fashioned with a delicious fig infused bourbon. Deck the halls with this new classic! 


Glassware: rocks glass or tumbler

Garnish: Orange peel

2 oz Fig Infused Watershed Bourbon

1 sugar cube or ¾ oz of simple syrup

3 dashes orange bitters or blood orange bitters

Build in the glass starting with the sugar and bitters, muddle the sugar cube and once it’s broken down with the bitters add bourbon and ice. Stir until chilled. Garnish. Imbibe.


1 750ml bottle of Watershed Bourbon

12 oz of dried figs (about 15 figs) You can also use fresh figs. Use half as much if using fresh.

Container preferably glass with an airtight lid

Add all ingredients to your jar. Allow to infuse for 3-5 days. Taste as it infuses and strain once you’ve reached the desired figgyness (totally a word). Use a funnel to pour back into the original bottle of bourbon and label.


Have fun and create other infusions with spices like cinnamon, star anise, all spice. Use teas like chamomile, jasmine or other fruit like cranberries or persimmons.  You can also play around with different bitters for this cocktail. I think this would be excellent with cranberry bitters or something that’s heavy on the spice.  This fig infused bourbon would also be awesome as a Manhattan, or with ginger beer, or apple cider.


You can easily serve this cocktail for a party if your pre-batch it prior to your party. Swap out the sugar cubes for simple syrup. Just make sure you add water to make up for the dilution that you get from stirring every cocktail.  If you want to get kind of technical you should add about 10% of the total volume of booze with water.  I would just stir a large batch with ice and would add water until it reached the flavor profile I want to serve – but I’m a cowboy like that. If you’re serving this for a dinner party, and don’t have quite as many guests, you can set out your glassware with the sugar and bitters and already in it, and muddle and stir as your guests arrive for a welcome cocktail.

So don’t worry about impressing your guests with cray ingredients folks, let the booze do the work for you. Happy infusing!!

Your neighborhood bar geek,

Catherine Manabat