- 2 oz Brandy
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- .75 oz Fig Syrup
- .5 tsp Rose Water
- 1 Egg White
Add all ingredients to a shaker without ice. Shake vigorously for 30-45 seconds. Add ice and shake again for 10-15 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with flower petals.
View other Holy Day cocktails.
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Thursday through Sunday get all the attention in Holy Week, but significant and symbolic things also happened on the other weekdays. So I’m making a cocktail for each one.
On Monday morning, while on his way to the Jerusalem Temple, Jesus is hungry and sees a fig tree with leaves on it, so it should have fruit he can eat. This one does not. It’s also not the season for the tree to have leaves in the first place.
Jesus sees in the tree a symbol of the Temple itself. It has the outward appearance of bearing fruit but is barren, and it does not know its season. Likewise, the temple has become a place of commerce and routine, not realizing that now is the time of the Messiah.
God in Jesus is rejected by creation itself and his very temple, where the worship and prayer of his people ought to be. So Jesus curses this fig tree and clears out the money-changers in the Temple.
This cocktail tries to capture some of these themes. Its name comes from Habakkuk 3: “Though the fig tree does not blossom and no fruit is on the vines…yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation.”
The grape brandy and soft texture hearken to the wine and solemnity of the temple, and the drink’s flavor is like a fig tree in bloom. But all this is–literally–soured by the lemon juice. It’s an unexpected drink that confuses the senses as you discern the flavors and the balance.
Ingredients & Technique
This drink is just a brandy sour and I now understand why we don’t see many of those on menus. Most brandy is just too soft to stand up to lemon juice, and I admit, I don’t know if I got the ratios here just right. My E&J XO Brandy is lovely but very soft, so it gets lost a little. I think Christian Brothers Sacred Bond Brandy (my favorite) would work very well here, especially with its higher proof.
For the sweetener, I used Liber & Co’s decadent and amazing Caramelized Fig Syrup. Seriously, this stuff is great. But I admit, I was hoping to taste it more dominantly, but I’m hesitant to do a full ounce of it. I would maybe pull back on the lemon juice.
Rose Water is an interesting ingredient to work with. It is potent. People usually add it to cocktails in drops but here, we’re doing half a teaspoon so the lemon juice doesn’t drown it out. But still, you may prefer less. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and go from there.
For this drink, we’re do the usual technique for egg white cocktails: a dry shake followed by a shorter shake with ice. If you prefer a different method, go ahead, but you really want to get that egg white emulsified for this drink. The texture is amazing.
But play with the ratios and let me know what you come up with!