So, a fig walks into a bar

Photo credit: Lauren J. Mapp
Cocktail creation has to be my favorite part of being a bartender. When I first started making drink specials while working at Oggi's, my cocktails were generally made from whatever weird, promotional liquor my manager was trying to get rid of that week (I'm pointing at you, Absolut Cilantro and Svedka Mango Pineapple).

After researching craft cocktail history during my BarSmarts training and earning a culinary degree that I can apply to my work behind the bar, I think I am finally at a point where I am pretty confident in my skills.

Whenever I can, I incorporate fresh herbs and seasonal fruits, always in search of a way to create a drink that no one has thought of before.

As a project with Green Bar Distillery and The Burrito Project, I created the "So, a fig walks into a bar" to serve at Mess Hall in the Liberty Public Market.

In August, my manager at Mess Hall handed me a box of figs and asked, "What can you make with these?" A few minutes later, I had created my first submission to our new bar menu and a drink to help to support this non-profit organization.

For every one of these cocktails that we sold during the month of September, Green Bar donated funds for a burrito to be distributed to those in need. Through partnerships with bars in cities throughout the state of California, Greenbar will be supporting the distribution of 25,017 to be handed out to the hungry this season.

Autumn is the perfect time to mix this drink since figs are still in season for a few more weeks.

So, a fig walks into a bar
2 oz        Green Bar Bright Gin
3/4 oz     Lemon Juice
1/2 oz     Honey Syrup
1 sprig    Thyme
1              Fresh Fig, preferably Brown Turkey Fig
               Fever Tree Ginger Ale

Add gin, lemon juice, honey syrup, thyme sprig and fig into a cocktail shaker. Muddle ingredients until the fig is pureed, then shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Double strain into a rocks glass full of fresh ice using both a cocktail and fine mesh strainer. Top off the cocktail with a splash of Fever Tree ginger ale, and garnish with a thyme sprig and fig wedge.

As a fun twist on this cocktail, my manager Sam decided to make custom fortune cookies with a cheesy, bar-themed joke inside. Since you won't get a fortune cookie from this blog post, here is my favorite of the cookie jokes:

So, three vampires walk into a bar.
The first one says, "I'll have a pint of blood."
The second one says, "I'll also have a pint of blood."
The third one says, "I'll have a pint of plasma."
The bartender replies, "So that'll be two Bloods and one Blood Light?"

Photo credit: Lauren J. Mapp

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