• 10.-12. October 2022
  • Exhibition Centre Berlin

19 July 2022, by Damien Guichard

Damien mixes: Fig Leaf Paloma


Like every month, the main ingredient for the BCB Community Cocktail was determined in our Insta-Stories. Fitting the summer temperatures, Damien Guichard now conjures up a refreshing drink with fig leaves.

 

© Damien Guichard

© Damien Guichard

 

I'll be honest: I was really hoping that our Instagram community would choose fig leaves. Being from the south of France, I grew up near fig trees and have a certain emotional attachment to this flavour from my childhood. The climate in and around Berlin is not exactly ideal for fig trees, so every time I travel to a place with a milder climate, I stock up on fig leaves and bring them back to our bar. A few weeks ago, we were in Rome, where fig trees grow everywhere, so many that you can even smell them all over the city. We picked these fig leaves from a tree in front of our friend's bar "Freni e Frizoni".

 

Into the glass: leaves instead of fruit

Many people probably wouldn't think of using fig leaves, as the figs themselves are delicious enough, but I believe that the leaves impart much more interesting flavours and suit cocktails better than the fruit itself. After all, figs tend to bring a colour and texture, among other things, that make the drink less palatable. The leaves carry aromas that remind you of coconut, honey and vanilla. When they are ripe, they even have a slightly smoky hint, almost peaty.

 

Extracting flavours

At Wax On we are lucky to have advanced equipment to extract the flavours (rotovap, centrifuge, sous-vide). Fig leaves, however, are so strong in taste that in this case a simple infusion will suffice. When it comes to cocktails, I like to either complement or contrast the natural flavours of the ingredients, keeping the drinks easily accessible and “smashable”.

 

Let's go for the fig leaves!

My goal is a clarified carbonated fig paloma. In this case, I will build the drink around the natural flavours of our fig leaves to bring them out. I will simply steep two chopped fig leaves in a litre of vodka for 24 hours at room temperature. If you don't have a vacuum machine, zip-lock bags will do as well. Just make sure the fig leaves don't oxidise. After 24 hours, strain through a coffee filter and voilà!

 

And now for the grapefruit syrup....

I am now clarifying the grapefruit. The reason I do this is that I will be carbonating this drink. Alternatively, you can of course just top the drink off with soda.

 

© Damien Guichard

 

Now that we have all our ingredients, we can combine them into a delicious little drink.

 

Ingredients for a "Freni Paloma

·        25ml Patron Silver Tequila

·        20ml Fig Leaf Vodka Infusion

·        20ml Clarified Grapefruit Cordial

·        5ml 1:1 Honey Water

·        1bsp Freimeister Kollektiv Sage Eau de Vie

·        2 drops 20% Citric Acid Solution

·        1 drop 20% Saline solution

·        90ml Soda

 

Prepare in a glass, garnish with a lemon zest and enjoy!

 

© Damien Guichard