The fig is one of the world’s oldest trees and, in the days before refined sugars, its naturally sweet fruit was often used as a sweetener, so rich is its flavour. Soft, deep purple skin, hides a brightly coloured flesh, exquisite both in flavour and in look, with a unique seeded texture.

Figs thrive in their native Mediterranean and middle-eastern climates and, as we transition firmly into autumn, they are at their very best. We are making the most of these seasonal gems throughout our October Specials, their honeyed flesh is the perfect complement to both sweet and savoury flavours.

Our cocktail this month is the ‘Dubonnet aux Figues’, made with equal parts Gin, and Crème de Figue, along with a good measure of Dubonnet and a squeeze of lemon. We shake these over ice until perfectly balanced and chilled, then serve garnished with a slice of fresh fig. The result is an elegant and warming cocktail of autumnal spices and fragrant herbs, with a pleasing richness and a dry finish.

Maison Edmond Briottet, have been making high-quality fruit liqueurs in Dijon for six generations, since 1836. Their Crème de Figue is made by macerating fresh figs in a beet neutral alcohol. This sweet, golden amber nectar has a rich prune and cinnamon-spice aroma with flavours of authentic dried and fresh figs on the palate.

It was in 1846 that Parisian chemist Joseph Dubonnet initially sold his eponymous apéritif, created in response to the French Government’s campaign to encourage French legionnaires in north Africa to drink quinine (a bitter substance with malaria-combatting power). Dubonnet is made from carefully selected grapes masterfully blended with herbs, spices, bitter bark and quinine, before fermentation is halted with the addition of alcohol. The blend is then aged for 3 to 4 years in oak vats. Dubonnet has flavours of jammy black fruit and honeyed sloes, with herbaceous notes and a mild bitterness.

Famously known as the drink of choice for British Queens past and present, this sweet, aromatised wine-based apéritif was popularised in the catchy 1970’s advertising campaign "Dubo, Dubon, Dubonnet" meaning, "It's nice; it's good; it's Dubonnet"!

Queen Elizabeth II is said to take her tipple of choice, a Dubonnet and Gin, with two cubes of ice and a slice of lemon, every day before lunch. Whilst we can’t vouch for this story, we can be certain that our Dubonnet aux Figues would make the perfect ‘amuse-bouche’ to our October Specials. Why not follow with the Fig and Endive Salad to make the most of these seasonal beauties, before they are gone until next summer!