Michael Loomis’ drinks had a formidable audience when President Obama hosted a fundraiser this week at Fig & Olive, the Westside branch of the New York-based pan-Mediterranean restaurant where Loomis is bar manager. His newest drink, the Fig & Walnut Julep, is surprisingly his first cocktail to feature the restaurant’s titular ingredient. The slight spice of black mission figs is smoothed out with bourbon and elderflower, with a walnut dusting to evoke the coming winter.
Fig & Walnut Julep by Michael Loomis
1.5 oz. Four Roses Bourbon
.75 oz. St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
.75 oz. lime juice
.25 oz. Taylor Tawny Port
.25 oz. simple syrup
2 black figs (muddled)
3 mint leaves
2 quarter-inch-thick slices of Fig with grated walnut on top
1 mint sprig
Prep work: Cut each mint sprig enough to peak over the edge of the rocks glass. Strip the mint with a few smaller leaves at the top for garnish. For the simple syrup, boil 1 cup water, add 1/2 cup sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved and let cool.
Using a mixing glass or a shaker, add figs, port, simple syrup and fresh lime juice. Muddle the figs and other ingredients into a paste. Add fresh mint leaves, bourbon and elderflower liqueur. Add ice and shake vigorously so the ingredients can infuse. Strain contents over ice in a rocks glass. Cut a fig in half and make two nice slices about 1/4-inch thick and garnish cocktail. Grate some walnut over figs and ice and add the mint sprig.
— August Brown