Somewhen in July my electrician gave me a ring to tell me he had got plenty of green figs and if I’d like to get some, he’d set some pretty ones aside for me. Of course I wanted some, and I immediately agreed to pop by his place later the afternoon, whereon he sounded very delighted, which in turn I attributed to me bringing La Stagiaire Americaine along, a pleasant curiosity in light of her coming from such faraway a place as New York, as well as considering that quite generally the average age of people around here is that of well matured fossiles.
Late afternoon, a little garden party already was on and all warm bright sunlight, a very fine day, drinks and snacks in the shade of the fig tree and a crate of figs ready for me to take home, along with the family recipe from Toulouse and minute instructions as to the how to. And this is what he said:
What you’ll need:
- A crate of green figs, quartered
- Some fresh fig leaves
- The equivalent weight of sugar
- Fresh water
- Pure fruit alcohol at 70°, though vodka or brandy work as well
How to make it:
Take a wide glass or earthenware recipient and lay out the inside with the fig leaves. Put the quartered figs on top, add the sugar and barely cover in fresh water. Let macerate for at least three days, while regularly stirring the mesh.
On the third day, drain through a strainer, measure the liquid and add half the volume in strong alcohol. Let sit for several weeks. I filtered the liqueur before filling into the carafe, but you may as well drink it unfiltered.
How to have it:
On a cold November night, when summer is only a faint memory of soft sweetness. Drink it just like that, or add a generous sip to your cocoa. A promise of a journey on a postcard from summer.