Songbird 

Mark Tubridy | New York

While walking through Kalustyan’s, an iconic grocery store in Midtown Manhattan, bartender Mark Tubridy came across a fig syrup that inspired this drink. A house-made pepper-fig syrup draws out the piquant Grains of Paradise notes in the gin, while the Mediterranean fruit lends depth to the red bitter liqueur. The verjus blanc and citrate syrup fold in fresh acidity to balance the sweetness, with the rich, earthy coffee notes dominating on the finish.

Ingredients

Serving: 1

  • 1 1/2 parts BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin
  • 3/4 parts Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter
  • 3/4 parts black pepper–fig syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 3/4 parts coffee-infused verjus blanc (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1 barspoon citrate syrup (see Editor’s Note)

Garnish: black peppercorns, lemon twist

Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and add ice.
  2. Shake vigorously and fine-strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass.
  3. Garnish with freshly cracked black pepper and a lemon twist.
Editor's Note

Black Pepper–Fig Syrup:
7 fresh figs, halved and baked at 250° F for 45 minutes
1 1/2 cups organic demerara sugar
1 large pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups dehydrated Black Mission figs, quartered

Combine baked figs, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan, and muddle together until the figs’ juices have been released. Add the water and heat on medium, stirring occasionally, until the syrup comes to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in the pepper, then pour the entire mixture into a thick Mason jar over the dried figs. Let sit overnight, strain and refrigerate.

Coffee-Infused Verjus Blanc:
Combine 1 cup tart verjus blanc with 1/4 cup coarsely ground Sumatra coffee beans. Let steep for 12 hours in the refrigerator and then strain through a damp coffee filter. Bottle and refrigerate.

Citrate Syrup:
Combine the pithless peels of 6 large lemons with 1/4 cup sugar. Muddle together and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Strain the resulting oily syrup into a glass bowl and whisk in 1/8 teaspoon citric acid powder. Bottle and refrigerate.