top of page
Post: Blog2 Post

Fig & Cream Soda Recipe for The Next Hit Cocktail of The Fall!

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

a fig leave next to a jug of full fat milk and a figball, a variation on a highball cocktail with irish whiskey and vermouth

Hello, Friends of Cocktails. Have you ever used fig leaves in a cocktail? Today I’ll show you how you can make a delicious creamy soda, and use that for a highball that’s perfect for the end of the summer. For those of you that make it to the end, I’ll have a book recommendation to learn all about sodas. But, let’s start by saying that yes, fig leaves are edible.

They have a mild, slightly sweet flavor, with subtle notes of vanilla and coconut. They are commonly used as a wrap for cooking meat, fish, or rice dishes, but they can also be stuffed, baked, boiled, grilled, steamed, used for tea, or made into syrup for cocktails. I’ll use them to make a fig-flavored cordial with lactic acid, which we’ll milk-wash with Milk Oolong tea, to give it a nice creamy texture and taste. This milk-washed cordial can then be carbonated to turn it into a wonderful fig cream soda, which will then be used for a highball cocktail.

I tried many different versions of the fig highball, first with pisco, then scotch serving as the base spirits, and they were great, but our fig soda was overpowered which wasn’t my goal. Even cognac, which is a great pairing with fig, wasn’t working as well as I hoped. So I tried combining Irish whiskey and dry vermouth. The vermouth elevated the soda's notes, adding some herbal qualities, while the Irish whiskey enhanced it with fruity and mature flavors.

I’ll go through everything step-by-step, including 2 different ways to make our Fig highball cocktail. But first, let’s make the milk-washed fig cordial. It’s Cocktail Time!

highball cocktail variation called the figball, using fig and cream soda, irish whiskey and dry vermouth

Fig Cordial

● 42g Fig Leaves (stems removed)

● 810g Water

● 195g Sugar

● 21g Lactic Acid

● 5 Cardamom Seeds

Like we did for the Lime & Mint cordial, we’ll first blanch the leaves, so add them into boiling water for 20 seconds, then quickly move them into an ice bath for 1 minute. Blanching will prevent our soda from having a chlorophyll taste or oxidizing too quickly. Next add them into a blender together with the water, sugar, lactic acid and cardamom seeds - crush them first to get all the flavors!

Blend everything for at least half a minute then let it sit while you move on the next step: our milk tea. For that you’ll need full fat milk, water and Jin Xuan tea, also known as Milk Oolong because it has a light, creamy, and flowery taste it’s sometimes compared to milk.

Milk Tea

● 450mL (15oz) Milk

● 150mL (5oz) Water

● 21g Oolong

Place a saucepan with the milk and water on medium heat and bring to just below simmer. Then add the Milk Oolong tea, cover and let steep for 2 minutes for the beautiful vanilla, caramel and creamy notes to develop. Then strain the tea into a larger container and pour our blended Cordial into it, which will cause the milk to curdle and we’ll be able to strain out the curds. We’ll do this after 30 minutes, though a large cone-shaped kitchen strainer, lined with a cloth filter.

As always, the initial liquid coming through won’t be completely clear. That happens once the curds form an additional filter and at that point you can simply re-filter the first part, to get the best result. That additional filter also means this whole process will take some time, but once I have around 10oz or 300ml of our clarified milk-wash fig cordial, I’ll use that to make the cream soda. For the best carbonation make sure your cordial is cold, because liquids at lower temperatures absorb more gas.

Fig & Cream Soda

● 300mL (10oz) Clarified Milk-washed Fig Cordial

● 1 CO2 Charger

Add the cordial and, since I’m using a small, 500 ml siphon, 1 charger is enough. Just shake it a few times and place it in the fridge, or an ice bath for about 10 minutes. To make sure it doesn’t foam up when pouring I’m not using the spout, but first carefully releasing all the gas before opening and pouring it out. Before carbonation the cordial might seem a bit too sweet, but the acidity increases with carbonation so the balance here is great.

The flavors of fig and milk oolong tea are an amazing pairing too, with hints of vanilla and caramel and a wonderful creamy soda sensation. I already mentioned whiskey and vermouth, but this would also be great with gin or vodka, or even in non-alcoholic cocktails. If you are craving something with figs after watching this, but don’t have a big fig tree anywhere near you, Liber&Co.’s Caramelized Fig Syrup this might be the best alternative.

It’s made from two different fig varieties and it has a deep, concentrated fig flavor with subtle spice. It’s best when paired with barrel aged spirits like whiskey and rum, but feel free to experiment or just make a soda with it, but now that we have all the ingredients we can make the FigBall.

FigBall (Single serving)

● 30mL (1oz) Green Spot Irish Whiskey

● 22,5mL (0.75oz) Dry Vermouth

● 100mL (3,33oz) Fig & Cream Soda

● 2 drops 20% Saline Solution

Here we’ll build it in a chilled highball glass over ice. Mix the ingredients with a barspoon and garnish with a small fig leaf coin - take your time and watch your fingers. Although, if you have company I can tell you this will be really popular, so I’ll show you a way to make several highballs at once while also carbonating the whole cocktail using an iSi Twist&Sparkle, which easily carbonates water, soft drinks and cocktails in seconds.

If you remember our Italicus Spritz episode, when we also made soda water with bitters, you’ll know that not every carbonator is suitable for fizzing up anything other than water. Not with this iSi, so let’s fill it up.

FigBall (Batched)

● 140mL (4.66oz) Green Spot Irish Whiskey

● 100mL (3.33oz) Dry Vermouth

● 480mL (16oz) Clarified Milk-washed Fig Cordial

● 10 drops 20% Saline Solution

● 1 CO2 Charger

Add the ingredients to the iSi Twist'n Sparkle without crossing the line that indicates the limit for carbonating anything other than water, charge it with a CO2 cartridge and let the Twist'n Sparkle carbonate the liquid. Once it's done, remove the carbonation cap and replace it with a regular cap, and now all that’s left is to pour the cocktail over a clear ice spear into a highball glass and give it the same garnish as before. Equally beautiful, supremely carbonated. Cheers!

The Fig Highball is nicely balanced, with whiskey and vermouth providing excellent support to our fig cream soda. If you would like the fig leaf flavor to be more dominant, we would need to infuse the fig leaves in alcohol, and we can show you how to do that if you are interested. Luckily we have a lot of fig trees in front of our studio, but with that we’ve reached the Bottom of The Glass, and as promised I have a book recommendation that could easily be called the Bible of Soda Fountains.

Written by a friend of the channel, Darcy O’Neil, "Fix the Pumps” tells you everything there is to know about the history and mechanics of soda fountains, shedding light on the fusion of technology, culture, and the art of creating refreshing drinks. Full of historical anecdotes and interesting recipes, “Fix the Pumps” is invaluable to anyone who enjoys creative drinks and recipes.

You can also hear from Darcy himself in this Color Changing Cocktails episode, where he dropped some chemistry knowledge, and I’ll see you soon, Friends of Cocktails.

6 ความคิดเห็น

Jen Cunningham
Jen Cunningham
06 ต.ค. 2566

Can I use malic or citric acid instead of lactic?

Kevin Kos
Kevin Kos
06 ต.ค. 2566

The result won't be the same, but you can try it.


Max Lindemann
Max Lindemann
24 ก.ย. 2566

Thanks for the incredible recipe. I am very curious to taste it 😊

Could you specify how much cream fig soda the mix of cordial and tea yields in the end after straining it?

i am a bit puzzled because I hope it is a bit more than 300 ml when I read 810g of water in the cordial and 600 ml of milk tea.

thanks in advance for an estimate.

Kevin Kos
Kevin Kos
26 ก.ย. 2566

You will get more than a liter of fig cream soda. Cheers!


Christopher Jeffrey
Christopher Jeffrey
20 ก.ย. 2566

This was really quite excellent, made it the other day and it's a nice refreshing drink that drinks very easily.

Kevin Kos
Kevin Kos
21 ก.ย. 2566

I am glad you tried it! I'm happy to hear you like it! Cheers!

bottom of page