Celebrate fall with figs and whiskey

Maybe you’re already a devoted fan, or perhaps just thinking you might want to get to know the sweet teardrop-shaped fruit that ripens in early fall, often found in Italian gardens. Either way, Wigle Whiskey wants you to celebrate the arrival of the season’s first figs at its tasting room on the North Side.

Fig Fest makes its return Friday evening at the whiskey maker’s  Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden,  and it promises to be one figgy fete, with live music, fig-flavored food and a fig-forward specialty cocktail. 

Now in its fourth year, the festival originally was a fundraiser for the Italian Garden Project started in 2010 by Mary Menneti to draw upon and preserve the centuries of garden know-how of the region’s Italian gardeners. Ms. Menneti has since moved to California, but the fest “is one of our favorite ways we celebrate our local agricultural traditions,” says Wigle founder Meredith Grelli. So the annual party continues.

The rock-soul-jazz band Nightly Standard will take the stage at 7 p.m. and Tango Food Truck will serve Argentine-marinated steak sandwiches with sauteed figs and feta cheese, along with slices of fig pie. In addition, Wigle staff will educated folks about how to grow the fruit trees at home, with tips on pollination and fig tree care.

The fest is free, and runs from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden, 1055 Spring Garden Ave., Spring Garden. More info: 412- 235-7796 or www.wiglewhiskey.com/barrelhouse.

Gretchen McKay: gmckay@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.

Fig Fizz

For fig simple syrup

1/2 cup fig spread

1/2 cup boiling water

For cocktail

1 ounce bourbon

1/2 ounce fig simple syrup

1/2 ounce lemon juice

Cream soda

Mole (chocolate) bitters

Make simple syrup: Combine fig spread and boiling water, and stir until mixture is dissolved. Set aside.

Into a cocktail shaker with ice, add bourbon, simple syrup and lemon juice. Put the lid on and shake vigorously until cold. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice and top with cream soda and a dash of bitters. 

Makes 1 cocktail.

— Audra Kelly, Wigle Whiskey


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