For this riff on a Sidecar, Courtney Tietze, the director of beverages for B on Top in New York City, macerates dehydrated black mission figs in a bottle of cognac for two days until the spirit is sweeter and has a definitive figgy flavor. After double-straining out the figs and seeds, he shakes it with Grand Marnier, sugar and lemon and orange juices and serves it strained in a vanilla-sugar-rimmed cocktail glass, garnished with a sage leaf. “The cognac allows for a smooth finish that complements and helps highlight its orange flavor as well as subtly showcasing the flavor of the oak barrels,” he says.
Rub the outside rim of a cocktail glass with the lemon wedge, coat with the vanilla sugar and set aside.
Add the cognac, Grand Marnier, syrup and juices into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into the prepared glass.
Garnish with a sage leaf.
*Black-fig-infused cognac: Fill a large container with 375 mL cognac and 4 cups dried figs. Let sit for a few days, shaking it periodically. Strain out solids.
**Vanilla sugar: Put 1 cup sugar and 1 vanilla bean (cut open) in a container and shake to combine. Store up to a month.