homemade Fig syrup for cocktails

Homemade Fig Syrup for cocktails

By Sina / Last updated on April 4, 2022 
Fig syrup is a fabulous way to sweeten a drink, giving it a nice color and some little extra fruity flavor. So here's how you bring the taste of the beautiful Mediterranean fruit in your cocktails.

Fig syrup is a beautiful way to upgrade a cocktail. Using syrups in cocktails and alcohol-free drinks to counterbalance bitterness is nothing new. And what's so brilliant about it is that you can use almost everything edible to make a syrup from it. No matter if it's fruit, veg, nuts, flowers, you name it.

Of course, some things are better suited than others. A cucumber syrup will neither taste like much nor will it have a very impressive color. Even though, thinking about it, it still might turn out a fun thing to experiment with. And then there are unusual things like Prosecco syrup or syrup made from butterfly pea flowers that will bring some magic color changing to your drink. 

And with this fig syrup, you can bring the rich flavor of the popular fruit to your cocktail. Plus, you can turn a highball like a Gin Tonic, or other clear, see-through drinks, into a blasting, pretty pink.

How to make Fig Syrup

Making homemade fig syrup is not overly complicated. However, it takes some time. All you need is demerara sugar, figs, water, lemon juice, and a bit of cinnamon and vanilla. Demerara sugar is a raw, aromatic, unrefined type of sugar made from sugar cane with light brown sugar crystals. But it can sometimes be hard to get. So if you cannot get a hand on demerara, use regular brown sugar instead.

All you have to do is chop up all your figs, mash them slightly, and add them to a saucepan together with all the other ingredients. Heat everything up slowly on medium heat while siring. Once your fig-syrup-to-be starts to cook and the sugar dissolves, reduce the heat and close the lid. Let everything simmer for about 30 minutes and stir occasionally. 

Figs in saucepan

Be sure to check the consistency regularly. The longer your fig syrup cooks, the thicker it will get. And it will become thicker even when cooled down. It should be runny enough to easily drip off your spoon. 

After max. 30 minutes, take the saucepan off the heat and let the syrup cool down. Then strain into a bottle - best to have a funnel handy. Now, your fig syrup is ready to be used in your cocktails. 

When stored in a fridge, the syrup will last for four weeks. And you can add juice a splash of a high-proof spirit to make your syrup last even longer. The best choice here is Vodka because it is colorless as well as neutral-tasting.

Dried or fresh figs?

You can use either dried figs or fresh fruits. Fresh figs will make for a lighter, less intensely flavored fig syrup. Dried figs, in turn, just like when eating them, will create a very aromatic fig syrup. And the color will also turn out differently. Fresh figs make a lighter, paler fig syrup, whereas a syrup made with dried figs will be a lot deeper in color. So choose your products depending on the desired results. We go with fresh fruits in this case because it creates some pretty pink-colored drinks. 

A short excursion into the world of Figs

Lately, there are figs everywhere. But many people know relatively little about them. So I want to provide a bit of background information here. Also, because figs go back a long way and were one of the first plants cultivated by humans (9400 to 9200 BC).

The small tree with the big leaves and bell-shaped fruits with slightly wrinkled, purplish skin is native to the Mediterranean and Asia. An individual fruit is 1.5 - 2 inches long, and the fruit flesh has beautifully sweet, soft, and reddish-pink flesh that contains a large number of crunchy seeds. Figs are a good supplier for vitamin c and b as well as for calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Fun fact: the seeds are the actual fruit. The flesh around them, therefore, is a so-called syconium. Usually, one only eats the pulp of a fig, but if you want to, the skin is edible, too.

fresh figs

The taste of a fig usually is sweet, juicy, and aromatic. However, the taste largely depends on the time of harvesting. Figs won't continue to ripen once harvested. And if you do that too early, they will turn out completely bland. If you do it too late, they will be rotten.

And also, ripe fruits don't last long, especially during transport. That's why they often come either dry or processed. Thus, even more reason for me to save them and turn them into delicious fig syrup.

Fig Syrup for cocktails

Fig syrup goes well with Vodka. Simply because Vodka is such a neutral spirit, and it's super easy to pair with other ingredients. So, for instance, you can try to add a few drops to your next Vodka Martini.

And fig syrup is also a great addition to a Gin and Tonic. Because Gin already is a relatively mild spirit, you need the right tonic to avoid making the highball overly sweet. But if you get that right, you will receive a delightfully pink and aromatic G&T. If you want to know how to make the perfect fig-flavored pink Gin and Tonic, here's our recipe:

Pink Fig Gin Tonic

And fig syrup also works with Whiskey. Because the aged spirit often has some fruity notes, fig sometimes even being among them, this syrup is a perfect accompaniment. It won't do much for the color in this case, but you could try adding a few drops to a classic Old Fashioned and see how you like that. It's also a good idea if you want to introduce the Old Fashioned to people who like their drinks to be a little more fruity.

Fig syrup recipe

Fig Syrup

A fruity, colorful syrup that will make your cocktails shine.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: syrup
Servings: 20 approx.
Cost: $6


  • 1 sauce pan
  • 1 12oz glass bottle
  • 1 Strainer


  • 5 pcs fresh figs quartered, stems removed
  • 1 ½ cup demerara sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp Vodka optional


  • Chop the figs in quarters and remove the stem. Mash them slightly before adding them to a saucepan.
  • Now add the remaining ingredients into the saucepan, as well. Turn heat to medium and gently heat and stir the mix.
  • When the mix is about to start boiling, reduce heat and keep stirring until sugar completely dissolves and the figs fall apart.
  • Let the mixture simmer for 15 to 30 minutes until your fig syrup turns sticky.
  • Remove from heat and let the syrup cool down to room temperature. Strain into a bottle and store it in the fridge. Use up within four weeks.
  • If you want to extend the shelf life of your syrup beyond four weeks, add a tbs of Vodka.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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